New details offer insight into Benzie murder mystery

Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman tells 7&4 News Christopher Luedtke, 17, was dead days before his parents' house burned down.

Fire crews were called to the home on Pautz Road in Crystal Lake Twp. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011.

The bodies of Chris Luedtke, his wife Linda and their son Christopher were found inside the home.

â??The son was dead days before the fire. With that being said, the other two members of the house were still alive, and you got to wonder. They went about their daily lives with a dead body in the houseâ?¦of course you are going to know your son is dead in his room with gunshot could you not?â?? Heckman said.

Autopsy results show Christopher was shot 4 times.

The gun used in that shooting was registered to his mother, Linda.

Investigators have not determined a cause of death for Linda or the father, Chris.

In a one-on-one interview, Sheriff Heckman told 7&4 News about the last time Chris was seen alive. It was the Sunday before he was found dead.

â??He mentioned to some friends that Christopher and Linda were home sick. He said â??Iâ??m never sick, I donâ??t get sick.â?? He said that,â?? Heckman told 7&4 News.

Investigators said the last time Linda was heard from was in a phone call to an employee.

â??Linda called the worker that works for the family company and advised them to take Monday off. She said the whole family was sick. Tuesday was deer season and they were already scheduled off. She said take Monday off and we will see you Wednesday,â?? Heckman said.

All three family members were found dead early Wednesday morning.

Heckman told 7&4 News that it appears that a family incident resulted in their deaths. They have ruled out the possibility of it being a mob hit, a random act of murder and an act resulting from excess gambling debt.

The investigation continues. Heckman hopes to find closure in the case sometime next year.