VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich.
(WJBK) -- John Jones can't believe what has happened right next door. His friend and neighbor Linda Vanderlinden and her two sons, just four and seven years old, were found dead in their Van Buren Township home Thursday morning.
"What I heard is that he killed his wife and the two boys."
Police are keeping the details close to the vest. Captain Greg Laurain said police were there to give notice of the death of Michael Vanderlinden. He was killed in a car crash Thursday morning on I-94 in Indiana.
"He was leaving from a rest area and went the wrong way on the freeway and hit another vehicle head on at that time. Both cars exploded," said Laurain.
Police said Michael Vanderlinden (pictured above) struggled with suicidal thoughts.
"He had ... some mental issues. He tried to kill himself before twice," said Jones.
However, when police came to the family home to give notice to the Vanderlindens, no one answered the door.
"Neighbors informed the officers that it was highly unusual for them not to be home. There [are] two children and a mom that lives there. Our officers went back and they located the front door that was unlocked, and when they entered they found the mom and the two boys deceased," Laurain explained. "They were all in their separate rooms, in their bedrooms."
Laurain also confirmed they were in their beds.
Police combed the house for evidence, collecting computers and phone records looking for the trigger that sparked this awful tragedy.
Mrs. Jones told Fox 2 she hopes she did enough to protect the Vanderlinden family.
"Words just can't explain. I'm just hurt, and I'm so glad I had a chance to speak with her when she wanted to come to me on problems and things that were going on, and I just had to pray with her and try to confide in her that she needed to know the Lord."
Police are not confirming how many times the victims were stabbed or if they were even stabbed. Laurain said he would let the medical examiner make that announcement on Friday.
Meanwhile, police in Indiana have identified the other driver killed in the crash on I-94 as 45-year-old Juan Nelson, Junior from Portage, Indiana.