ZEELAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. –A Zeeland Township man is under arrest for allegedly murdering his sister and her husband around 25 years ago.
Ryan Wyngarden, 50, was arrested Friday.
Detectives said Gail and Rick Brink were married for around 18 months and had been remodeling a home in Park Township near Holland.
In November after they finally moved in, they were shot.
Rick was killed in his Chevy Blazer in the driveway and Gail was killed in her bed.
Investigators said the bodies were discovered by their parents after the two didn’t show up for work and concerned co-workers began asking questions.
The case went unsolved for more than two decades.
“In the last couple of months, information coming in had really intensified,” said Lt. Mark Bennett, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators say cold case detectives researched testimony from more than 200 witnesses after they were assigned the case in 2011.
Ryan had been working in Hudsonville up until Friday’s arrest.
He had a minor criminal record that included filing false police reports in 1980 and 1982, building larceny in 1982 and 1990 and assault in 1999.
However, detectives say there wasn’t a clear reason to link him to her murder until recently.
“Mr. Wyngarden was interviewed back in 1987 and 1988 but probable cause wasn’t in existence to make an arrest. But, it was the additional pieces of the puzzle that we were able to put together,” said Bennett.
We tried to talk to the Wyngarden family who requested privacy from us on the day of the arraignment.
They must come to terms with the fact that detectives say the murder has been solved and it is a member of their own family.
“Just being able to sit down with the family, there`s been a lot of emotions especially this weekend,” said Venus Repper, cold case detective. “You know as far as being able to sit down with the families and coming to a conclusion. So, it`s an emotional time.”
The judge denied Ryan Wyngarden bail because of the nature of the crime.