Police release details of family found dead

Aug 17, 2015

The deaths of a Garfield Township family of four have been ruled a murder-suicide.

Michigan State Police found Jeffrey and Tamisha Mendenhall, and their children, dead last Thursday.

When state troopers forced their way into the home Thursday evening, they found the bodies of the two children, Thomas, age 6, and Olivia, age 3, posed in a bedroom with flowers and stuffed animals. Their father was found in the hallway posed with flowers as well.

The two children and Mr. Mendenhall sustained no physical trauma or injury. Tamisha Mendenhall was found with a single, fatal stab wound in the groin. Evidence shows she was the last person alive in the home.

Police also found numerous prescription medication bottles --including medication often used to induce sleep-- empty plastic bags, vinyl tubing, and a helium tank.

A spokesman for the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office said since 2009 they've responded to three separate incidents at the residence. On each occasion a resident was suicidal and taken into protective custody.

The investigation is ongoing. Police are waiting for more results from the autopsies.