Michigan dad kills son, 3, in murder-suicide after prior threats

An ex-Michigan corrections officer allegedly killed his toddler before fatally shooting himself — just months after he made threats of a murder-suicide against his estranged wife.

Police say Derek Thebo, 32, fatally shot his 3-year-old son Dylan and then turned the gun on himself in a home in Lowell, just outside Grand Rapids, last Wednesday.

Their bodies were discovered after police were called to carry out a welfare check.

Six months earlier, Thebo’s estranged wife and mother of the boy had reported his threats of a murder-suicide, according to court records obtained by Fox17.

In court documents seeking a protective order, Katie Thebo said she’d told police her estranged husband had promised to carry out acts of violence.

“He threatened to kill me, my children, and my family, and to commit suicide afterward,” she wrote.

“He rattled off the names of my family members and said he knew where they worked, he knew when they were home, and that he could get to them and hurt them.”

Derek and Katie, who were in the process of divorcing, were in the middle of a custody battle over their son Dylan when last week’s murder-suicide occurred.

Katie also has a daughter from a previous relationship.

“He specifically mentioned that he would ‘save her [my daughter] for last’,” Katie wrote in the court documents.

The order of protection was granted on March 8 but terminated on March 22 when the estranged couple reached an agreement for a mutual restraining order.

Dylan Thebo.
Dylan Thebo’s mother Katie Thebo had told police six months prior to the murder-suicide that her estranged husband, Derek Thebo, had promised to carry out acts of violence.

Details of that order were not immediately clear.

According to the court records, Thebo worked as a corrections officer in Michigan but was fired in 2019.

He was working as a security officer at a hospital in March when the protective order was filed.

It is unclear if he was still employed there as of last week.

Katie launched a GoFundMe last week to cover her son’s funeral costs, saying she didn’t have life insurance for the little boy.

She described Dylan as a “amazing kiddo who was full of energy.”

“Dylan loved Paw Patrol, excavators, cars and trucks, and singing and dancing. Most of all Dylan loved his momma and big sister,” Katie wrote.

“We are all absolutely devastated and there are no words to describe how much Dylan will be missed by all who knew him.”