GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Laurie Lundeberg, 50, was known in the neighborhood as Big Bird for her pet birds, her love of cats, and for chatting with everyone she came across.
But she suffered an untimely death. Grand Rapids police said it's the second homicide of the year.
"She was liked. People liked her. People came to her for help. People appreciated my mom. She was a nice lady," Larson Lundeberg said.
It's a tragedy her son Larson said he learned of when police took him in for questioning on Saturday.
"I heard that she got killed. I didn't know. That was, uh, really weird cause I thought it was a joke," Larson said.
Police said his mother was found shot to death near their home on Lincoln Avenue in Northwest Grand Rapids early that morning.
Her friend Jesus Castillo said, "I was in disbelief, complete disbelief."
Castillo said he met Lundeberg last June through Facebook, and the two kept in touch regularly up until a couple months ago. He said she had a heart of gold and opened her home to her son's friends as a place to stay.
"I showed up there one day. She told me she was having some problems with some youngsters who were living there and that she was trying to get them evicted, and they assaulted her and they assaulted one of the elderly people that were living there," Castillo recalled.
While Castillo is hoping someone who knows something speaks up for his friend, her son is trying to move on from the loss.
Larson said, "I don't really want to feel anything either. I just want to keep going on with my life. Ya know, that's how she'd want it. She just want me to keep.. Take care of the house, take care of the family. That's just kinda what I got to do now."
If you have any information about this homicide call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.