Michigan State Police investigating apparent murder-suicide in Decatur Township

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. - Michigan State Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide on Friday at a home on 82nd Avenue.

At 9:30 p.m., troopers responded to a suspicious situation in the 38000 block of 82nd Avenue in Decatur Township after receiving 911 calls that a murder-suicide was going to happen.

Troopers forced entry into the home after no one answered and found two deceased people inside with apparent gunshot wounds.

The man was identified as 49-year-old Wayne Westphal of Decatur and the woman was identified as 34-year-old Tara Phillips of Decatur.

A firearm was found underneath Westphal, reports said.

Evidence at the scene and follow-up investigations indicate the situation was an apparent murder-suicide.

Troopers learned Westphal and Phillips had been in a relationship and lived together but that a valid no contact order was in place at the time of the incident, reports said.

Investigators determined there was a history of domestic violence between the two.

There are no suspects at large and no danger to the public, troopers said.

If you are in danger of domestic assault, call 911 or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

This is an ongoing investigation. 

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