State Briefs

Associated Press • Jun 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Police: Mom intentionally drives into Michigan river; 3 dead

KALAMAZOO — Searchers pulled the bodies of a woman and her 9-year-old twin daughters from the water after she intentionally drove a car carrying them into a southwestern Michigan river, authorities said Tuesday.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas said two other girls had been in the car but were let out before it was driven into the water. Those girls told officers late Monday that a family member had driven a car into the Kalamazoo River. Their relationship to the woman was not immediately clear.

Officers found the submerged car at Verburg Park. Thomas said they initially found the 44-year-old woman's body and one child's body on Monday night, and the other child's body was found Tuesday morning following a search.

"This is just a tragedy," Thomas said. "This is just a tragedy for our community."

Thomas said investigators were trying to determine why the woman drove into the water. They also were working to determine a precise timeline leading up to that point, and who else may have been in contact with the woman.

"It's a question here in Kalamazoo that we're all asking," she said of the possible reason behind the deaths. "We don't have an answer."

Names of those involved weren't immediately released.

Human remains, photography gear swiped

TRAVERSE CITY — A man came out to his car Sunday to find thousands of dollars in photography equipment and his father’s ashes stolen.

Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies drove to the Sheridan Road home and learned someone entered the unlocked car — sometime between 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday - and stole the remains that were sitting in two white boxes, plus $2,800 worth of photography equipment, according to sheriff’s Capt. Randy Fewless.

The boxes holding the ashes sported a Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services label on the top.

Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s department at 231-995-5000.

Mackinac Island drone bill sent to Whitmer's desk

LANSING — Mackinac Island could enact rules to restrict the use of drones under legislation heading to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her expected signature.

The Senate gave unanimous, final approval to the bill Tuesday. The measure stems from a task force that recommended protection for the island because of instances of drones startling horses that carry people and goods.

Cars are prohibited on the island, which is a northern Michigan tourist destination.

State law currently bans local governments from regulating the ownership or operation of drones. The legislation would make an exception for Mackinac Island but specify that drones could be allowed for certain purposes if they do not intentionally interfere with horses — such as news gathering, insurance work, utility maintenance and law enforcement.

Online: Senate Bill 129: http://bit.ly/31FtGrd

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