Condo murder victim was shot in head

12:36 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
John Dahlinger
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Kent County Medical Examiner says a man killed last week in his condo died from three causes: Blunt force trauma, a gunshot wound to the head, and a heart attack.

Grand Rapids Police released the medical examiner information to WZZM 13 Thursday morning and said the investigation was still "very active."

An autopsy last week only showed John Dahlinger, 56, died of blunt force trauma.  Grand Rapids police say he had numerous injures to his face and head. 

Police were called to the home in the 2000 block of Krislin Drive around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, October 15, for a report of an unresponsive man. There they found Dahlinger dead.

Dahlinger and his girlfriend lived at the condo for several years. Neighbors identify the girlfriend as Melanie Yanchuk.

Yanchuk told investigators she arrived home Wednesday evening and found Dahlinger beaten to death. She called 911 and attempted CPR but could not revive the victim, according to police.

Dahlinger was on the board of directors for Paws with a Cause and was also a board member of his the Maple Grove neighborhood association, where he lived.

Police say they aren't ruling anything out but do not think the murder was a random act. Neighbor Marty Staal agrees. "It doesn't seem like normal procedure is to beat someone so severely they die," said Staal. "Usually a thief wants to get out."

Charles Mulder says police were called to the neighborhood just days ago because of suspicious people in the area. "(They were) looking in the houses and then when they saw me come out of the house and look at them, they hollered at me and I thought that's kind of strange."

Neighbors say Dahlinger sold medical equipment and would come and go from his home, but no one knows why someone would kill the man who helped so many.

Any one with information about the murder is asked to call Grand Rapids Police at (616) 456-3604 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.


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