http://www.wzzm13.com/news/most_popu...7&provider=topChloey Stoudt of Ludington died Wednesday morning
LUDINGTON, Mich. (WZZM) - The seven-year-old girl killed in Ludington earlier this week died by "asphyxia by suffocation" according to the Kent County Medical Examiner.
Chloey Stoudt was found dead at a home in Ludington on Wednesday morning. 39-year-old James Belanger was also found at the scene injured and later died from a stab wound to the chest. ]
The Ludington Daily News is reporting that Belanger stabbed himself twice, once hitting a breastbone, and the second time going through his heart, a blow that proved fatal, according to Mason County Medical Examiner Marc Keen who performed the autopsy Wednesday.
Keen said the wounds to Belanger were consistent with being self-inflicted. That's determined by the angle of the wound entering the body and the lack of defensive wounds that are typical when a person tries to ward off knifing by an assailant.
Ludington police have not released any information regarding an arrest or suspects in the case.
[...]150 show support at vigil FridayChloey Ann Stoudt‘I am happy she is with God Grama Said
http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/ne...?newsgroup_id=Stuffed animals, candles, cards, and pictures were placed in memory of Chloey Stoudt outside of her house in Pine Way Townhomes, as the community showed support for her and her family Friday night.
More than 150 adults and children walked quietly from Cornerstone Baptist Church to the home where Chloey lived with her family. The seven-year-old girl died early Wednesday morning at the home in what the grandmother called “a heinous murder.”
The candlelight vigil was organized by COVE (Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters).
Chloey’s mother Kelly said during the vigil that Chloey was loved by everyone.
“I hope she is looking down right now,” said a tearful Kelly. “I am happy she is with God. I appreciate everyone coming out.”
Chloey’s grandmother, Lori Vandervest, said the support shown by the community is awesome.
“We appreciate everyone out here. This is unbelievable,” said Vandervest. “This was a heinous murder. It was a senseless thing to happen to a little girl.”
Vandervest said Chloey loved all of her grandparents very much.
At Pine Way, The Rev. Tom Boehne of St. John’s Lutheran Church, led a prayer for Chloey and her family. He said Chloey had been baptized last year and knew the Bible verse, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
After the family and Boehne spoke, Boehne offered to those present the opportunity to share memories of Chloey. Laughter prompted by good memories mixed with tears of sorrow. Several of Chloey’s classmates said they missed her and that she was a nice girl. Friends and people who knew her recalled moments they had with her or how they remember her.
Bea Rosales, COVE legal advocate, organized the vigil and walk to honor and remember Chloey.
We wanted to do this so we can show her family that we really care,” said Rosales. “So we can send all of the peace, love and prayers that we can.”
“She was my great-granddaughter and she was a very special child,” said Joan Vandervest as people gathered at the church before walking.
Mary DeHaan-Hiddema was at the vigil to represent the Andre Bosse Center.
Yvonne Buell came to the vigil because her son was close to Chloey.
Pink heart pins in honor of Chloey were worn by several people.
Thank God for all of the memories we have of her,” said Boehne.
Medical examiner says James Belanger stabbed himself to death after smothering Chloey Ann Stoudt
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/i..._belanger.htmlLUDINGTON — James Vernon Belanger took a long kitchen knife early Wednesday morning plunged it through his chest twice and killed himself after smothering a 7-year-old Ludington girl, according to the Mason County Medical Examiner.
ames Vernon Belanger Dr. Marc Keen said Friday afternoon based on the ongoing investigation, he believes Belanger killed Chloey Ann Stoudt inside her mother’s home, 1082 Pine Way, before he took his own life.
“We assume it’s Belanger, but we’re waiting for lab results,” Keen said of the suffocation death of Stoudt, a Lakeview Elementary School first-grader. “In layman’s terms, he smothered her.”
Police were called to the Pine Way home of Stoudt’s mother, Kelly Jo Stoudt, around 5:30 a.m. on a report of a stabbing. When they arrived on the scene, they found the body of Chloey Stoudt and Belanger, 39, of Montague Township, who was critically injured.
Keen said Belanger fatally stabbed himself outside the home after unsuccessfully stabbing himself first inside the townhouse.
“I think he stabbed himself once in the house and didn’t hit the heart. Then he went outside and stabbed himself again and it hit the heart,” Keen said. “I think he pulled the knife out and walked in the house and died.”
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The result of a toxicology test to determine whether any drugs or alcohol were present in Belanger’s system when he died was pending Friday, Keen said.
It isn’t clear what events led to the early morning deaths, according to Ludington Police Chief Mark Barnett.
At this point, we don’t have that determined. As we get that information, we’ll be able to release that,” Barnett said.
Kent County Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cohle said the cause of Stoudt’s death was “asphyxia by suffocation,” according to a news release issued just before noon Friday by Barnett.
Kelly toudt’s father, Dennis Vandervest Jr. of Ludington, has said his daughter awoke early Wednesday to find Belanger stabbing himself before she discovered her daughter was dead.
Vandervest said his daughter and Belanger previously had dated.
Family members also said Kelly Stoudt claims Belanger “raped and murdered” her daughter before he took his own life.
Barnett said investigators are still awaiting information from a Lansing crime lab to determine whether the Lakeview Elementary School first-grader had been sexually assaulted.
“We have not determined that. We don’t know at this point. We need to get results back from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab,” Barnett said.
Barnett said he would release additional information “as it becomes available” but said he did not expect any new information about the deaths to be released Friday.
Funeral arrangements for Belanger were being handled by Ever Rest Funeral Home and Chapel of Muskegon. The arrangements were pending late Friday.James Vernon Belanger