“It won’t be the same,” Delta Twp family mourns father, two children as murder case goes unsolved

Michigan

DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) – “It won’t be the same, because a lot of times when they were with their dad, they stayed at my place, and I can still see them sitting in the living room with me, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s real – like that they’re gone.”

Diane Lechleitner still has a hard time believing that her son Joe, 5-year-old granddaughter Vivian Zwick, and 3-year-old grandson Anson Zwick are no longer with her.

All three were shot inside the children’s mother’s home last spring.

It was 11:00 p.m. on April 13 when Eaton county sheriff’s deputies responded to Old River Trail in Delta Township after getting a report of a shooting. It was at that moment, that Diane’s life would be forever changed.

Joe and Vivan had been shot to death and Anson, who was critically injured, died two days later.
Diane and the rest of the Lechleitner family left behind to pick up the pieces.

“There are times I cry. There’s time that I get really mad. My son Joe, was the one that was always there for me.” I lost my protector, cause he was always there. And if I needed anything, Joe’s the one that we went to first.”

Joe Lechleitner lived in the Upper Peninsula. He came back to the Lansing area frequently, visiting his children and his mom.

His craft was woodworking, and his children loved to be around him.

“Anson was out there with his father. He liked to see how things were made they loved to play outdoors and they liked doing the gardening, and they were just such beautiful, innocent little babies and it just won’t be the same.”

It’s been nearly 5 months since that night, and Eaton County Sheriff’s detectives are waiting on the results of forensic evidence to be included in what they’re calling a high priority investigation.

“We are working step in step with the family. this is a very complex investigation and it’s a very large puzzle. we have a lot of pieces to this puzzle,” said Eaton County Sheriff’s Detective Ted Johnson.

“It was a horrific scene and we feel for all the deputies, all the first responders that were involved to see such a horrific scene.”

And for Vivian and Anson’s big sister Margret, this tragedy has caused heartbreak over occasions never marked and dreams never realized.

“It’s all the time we don’t get to hav. It’s every missed birthday, it’s the first kiss, the first boyfriend, the first driver’s license, the first tooth, the first everything, the first day. We got five years, which I am grateful for, But I was really thinking on another, you know, 50,” said Margret.

And now, Grandma Diane is making it her mission to be there for her family who needs her, and her loved ones gone too soon.

“I’m going to keep fighting too. Find out who did this and try to be there for Megan and Noah and the rest of the family and stuff. Just to try to get some justification out of this, because there’s no way that anybody would deserve to have this happen to them, and Joe did not deserve this. And those babies definitely did not deserve this”

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