Police no longer believe murder-suicide in deaths of children, father near Lansing

Associated Press

Delta Township – The deaths of two young children and their father near Lansing are being treated as three murders and not a case of murder-suicide as previously reported, authorities said Tuesday.

The new conclusion comes as detectives continue to “extensively investigate” the case, the Eaton County sheriff’s office said.

Anson Zwick, 3, Vivian Zwick, 5, and Joseph Lechleitner, 47, were shot on April 13 at the children’s home in Delta Township. Lechleitner was from the Shingleton area in the Upper Peninsula.

Neighbors said the children lived with their mother and that Lechleitner visited about once a month.

The sheriff’s office had pinned the blame on Lechleitner immediately after the deaths.

Investigators now are “considering it to be a murder investigation,” the sheriff’s office said. “Detectives do not believe this is a random act of violence.”

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is urged to call (517) 323-8492 or (517) 543-5433.