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 Michael Christian Van Gerven

Michael Christian Van Gerven

Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Death 23 Jan 1999 (aged 40)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot 11 058 4
Memorial ID 44101 · View Source
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Michael Christian VanGerven

Michael Christian Van Gerven left this earth on January 23, 1999, leaving an empty place in the hearts of those who loved him.

Michael was born Sept. 2, 1958 in Murray, Utah, the son of Jerry and Peggy. He leaves behind a brother Kevin, sisters Connie and Teri, three nieces, Mindi, Lindsey, Danyel, a daughter Amy and a son Chad.

Graveside services will be held Friday, January 29, 1999 at 1:30 p.m. at the Murray City Cemetery 5600 S. Vine St. Friends may call Fri. 12-1 p.m. at the Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary 4760 S. State St.

Deseret News Wednesday, January 27, 1999 Obituary

Chase ends as wanted man kills himself

By Hans S. Moran Deseret News staff writer

The man wanted by police in connection with the Friday night slaying of a Cottonwood Heights man led police on a chase before shooting himself Saturday night.

Police say Michael C. VanGerven, 40, died after shooting himself in the head when the engine of the car he was driving died on I-215 near 2100 South at about 8:45 p.m.

VanGerven was wanted for allegedly killing John Reilly and critically wounding Renee Reilly, both 59, at their Cottonwood Heights home, 2947 E. Lake Mary Drive (7600 South). The couple's daughter, Michelle Reilly, 31, had ended a relationship with VanGerven about a month ago.

Police say VanGerven carjacked a 1987 Lincoln Mercury near 2300 East and 4500 South about 6 p.m. Saturday and dropped the owner and his 12-year-old daughter at the Rio Grande train station about a half-hour later.

The man contacted Salt Lake police, and officers began looking for the stolen vehicle. Police spotted VanGerven driving near 200 South and 200 West about 8 p.m. and a chase began, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Peggy Faulkner.

According to unconfirmed reports, VanGerven shot at officers as they chased him to I-215. The car's engine eventually died near I-215 and VanGerven shot himself once in the head.

Police say VanGerven refused to leave Michelle Reilly alone. He called her as many as five times a day. He stopped by her house. He would not quit -- even after she tried to get a protective order and a deputy sheriff asked him to stop.

On Friday, he shot both of her parents, authorities believe.

A man held Michelle Reilly's mother and father at gunpoint until she arrived home Friday night. As she approached the front door about 8 p.m., her father told her to run, but the man pointed a gun at her and forced her to stay, investigators believe.

The gunman made her tie up her parents, Salt Lake County sheriff's detective Mark Chidester said.

"She tied them as loosely as she could so they could escape," he added.

Authorities think the man may have planned to shoot the parents to get back at Michelle Reilly for breaking off the relationship.

"We won't know for sure until we talk to him...but that's a possibility," Chidester said at a Saturday afternoon press conference.

Before the man opened fire, Michelle Reilly and the gunman struggled. She kicked him several times and ran from the house, Chidester said.

He chased her, but she made it to a neighbor's two houses away. She went inside and called 911. The man returned to the Reillys' home and shot John and Renee Reilly, investigators believe. Michelle Reilly lived with her parents at their Cottonwood Heights home, 2947 E. Lake Mary Drive (7600 South).

Deputies found the father with two gunshot wounds to the head and the mother shot once in the jaw, Chidester said. John Reilly was dead at the scene.

Paramedics rushed Renee Reilly to LDS Hospital with critical injuries. Her condition was upgraded to serious Saturday afternoon, the hospital reported.

A neighbor heard two or three "popping" sounds and glass breaking from inside the house just after 8 p.m. He looked out the window and saw a man running intensely from the home. He got into a gray car and sped away, the neighbor said.

VanGerven lived in South Central City in Salt Lake City, police said. He worked for a company that sells glasses. He had a criminal record, but the offenses are misdemeanors, including public intoxication offenses.

Michelle Reilly and VanGerven dated for about a year, but authorities are not sure how they met. She ended the relationship last month. She sought but was denied a protective order in court because the two had never lived together.

"She tried to break off the relationship around Christmas, and he apparently couldn't deal with it," Chidester said.

Sunday, January 24, 1999 Deseret News staff writer Spencer Young contributed to this story.

Family Members





  • Maintained by: Anne
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 44101
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Michael Christian Van Gerven (2 Sep 1958–23 Jan 1999), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44101, citing Murray City Cemetery, Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Anne (contributor 46788213) .