School closings & delays

Father facing manslaughter charge in son’s drowning

 

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A father is facing charges after his 16-year-old son with special needs drowned in the family's swimming pool.

It happened March 28 at a home on Port Sheldon Street in Georgetown Township, near Hudsonville. Deputies were called to the home after the teen got into the pool and had to remove him from the water when they arrived.

Emergency responders took the teen to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Since then, detectives continued investigating the case and ultimately decided to charge Timothy Koets in the teen's death. He was arrested Thursday on charges of child abuse and manslaughter.

“Our job is very simple, but yet very complicated. Our job is to just find the facts, and sometimes those facts are more apparent than other times and sometimes they take a lot more digging,” Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mark Bennett said. “In this case, we had to do a lot more digging with search warrants, with additional interviews, with records of many different varieties.”

Bennett said the facts of the case were disturbing enough to justify criminal charges for Koets, who is an associate professor of computer information systems at Grand Rapids Community College.

Investigators say there have been prior incidents with law enforcement at the house in the past and there’s still a possibility others will be charged in the 16-year-old’s death.

Bennett said Child Protective Services has been involved in the case since March 28 and Koets’ other children have been living elsewhere.

In a statement, GRCC President Bill Pink said it would be "inappropriate for us to discuss the matter at this point."

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