Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kalamazoo, MI: Marital issues preceded murder-suicide

MIDDLETON, Mich. (WOOD) - The mother of the victim in an apparent murder-suicide said her daughter and son-in-law were having some marital problems in the weeks before they were found dead early Sunday.
Nawful and Andrea Rachdi, ages 25 and 29, were found dead around 2 a.m. after police responded to reports of a fight in their Kalamazoo home.

Andrea's mother and father, Terry and Joseph Loynes, were informed of their daughter's death Sunday morning when an officer knocked on the door of their home in Middleton.

"I first heard somebody pounded at the door," Terry said, recalling the Gratiot County deputy who put them in touch with a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety lieutenant.

"That's when we got the news that Andrea had been killed," Terry said, adding the family only knew details from reading 24 Hour News 8 coverage online and what little information police have told them.

"Andrea was the victim, and her husband was the one that shot her," Terry said.

On Monday, authorities said an 8-inch kitchen knife was found next to the couple. Autopsy results revealed Nawfal Rachdi used an "edged weapon" to kill Andrea, then himself.

Investigators have not said what caused the reported fight between the couple.

The Rachdis married a year and a half ago, and had one son together. Andrea had two other children from a previous relationship.

"They were having some problems, but they were working on them," Terry said.

Andrea's mother knew her son-in-law was getting increasingly angry in recent weeks and suggested to her daughter that the couple go to counseling.

"I know she was going to try to do that," she said. "Unfortunately, she didn't get a chance."

Andrea was a nurse and Nawfal was going to school full-time.

"She was always smiling," Terry said. "She just wanted to help people."

Andrea's parents said they are grateful their grandchildren were not in the home when the violence happened.

Now, with few answers about why the children's mother is gone, the family's focus is on them.

"Our biggest concern is our grandchildren growing up without a mom and dad," Terry Loynes said. "We just want to make sure they are provided for."

The family will eventually set up a memorial fund for those three children. Details on that are not yet available.

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