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Homicide victim's son named primary suspect


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Investigation into the beating death of a 72-year-old Coopersville woman, whose body was pulled from the Grand River on Monday, is now focused on her son, a habitual felony offender and self-described heroin addict.

Sharon Roersma's body was found along the Grand River near Coopersville. An autopsy shows she died of a broken neck and blows to the head. Investigators say they believe she was dead before her body was placed in the river.

A few hours after fishermen discovered the body, her son, 50-year-old Michael David Roersma reported her missing from the home they shared on Ann Street, located north of the downtown Coopersville business district.

After speaking with Roersma on Monday, Ottawa County investigators arrested him for a parole violation. He was charged Wednesday with obstruction of a felony investigation.

Murdered woman's son in custody for probation violation


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The woman found dead in the Grand River Monday morning was murdered, and the son she lived with is in jail.

Detectives say at this point the man's arrest is unrelated to the murder case.

Sharon Roersma, 72, was known in her Coopersville neighborhood as a friendly woman who loved her dogs. She often walked the pets along Ann street. Police have some indication neighbors saw her Sunday.

Monday morning, two fishermen found her body in the Grand River. An autopsy revealed Roersma died from blunt force trauma to the head. Her neck was also broken.

Murder victim found in river identified


OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) - The woman found in the Grand River Monday has been identified.

Sharon Roersma, 72, was found Monday morning in the river by fishermen near the Bur Oak Landing.

Investigators determined that Roersma had suffered a head trauma and was dead before entering the river. Investigators say that she was killed with an object, but have not yet determined what that object was.

Roersma had been living with her son for the past year. Her husband died about ten years ago. A relative or Roersma's is in custody on unrelated probation charges.

We'll have more from Ottawa County on later editions of WZZM 13 News.

Death of woman found in Grand River a homicide


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office says the death of a woman whose body was pulled from the Grand River near Coopersville is a homicide.

Recovery crews pulled the body out of the river after fishermen report it at about 10:00am Monday, near 90th Avenue and Lake Forest Drive in Bur Oak Park and the Bass River Recreation Area.

Ottawa County Sheriff's investigators tell WZZM that the body is that of a woman who was wearing a shirt and underwear. She was not carrying any identification.

Investigators say that the river was very busy on Sunday, so it is likely that she was not in the river yesterday or should would have been found then.

Wrong-way driver charged in two deaths


OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) The elderly man who drove the wrong way on I-96 killing his wife and the passenger in another vehicle is being charged with a crime.

The Ottawa County Prosecutors Office authorized two counts of Driving While License Suspended Causing Death for Leslie Laymon, 83. Laymon has not yet been arraigned due to his medical condition.

In the crash, Laymon's wife, Donna, 81 died. Shirley VanHoeven, 79, was a passenger in the other vehicle and died a few days later.

Laymon's license had been suspended and had failed taking the driver's test twice in the past year.


Related Story: Wrong-way driver's license had been suspended


Erratic driver crashes on I-96 in Coopersville


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A one-car accident along I-96 Tuesday afternoon didn't surprise the people who called 911 on that car's driver.

Around 1:15 p.m. a Cadillac sedan crashed into the median barriers near westbound exit 16.

The woman driving was not seriously hurt, but six other drivers called 911 moments before the crash, reporting her erratic driving.

"I felt a little tap on my rear; when I looked, I had a Cadillac on the rear of my three-quarter ton van," said driver Mike Redding. "As I was talking to the officer at 911, she hit the center barriers they put up."

The accident is under investigation by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Byron Center posts easy win over Coopersville


COOPERSVILLE, MIch. (WZZM) -- Byron Center notched six touchdowns in the first half en route to a 49-7 victory over Coopersville Friday night.

Travis Baker and Jarod Rodgers each had two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.