Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pam's Obituary November 6, 2007

Pamela (Aukerman) Brainard
BRAINARD (AUKERMAN), PamelaOf Otsego Passed away Sunday, November 4, 2007. Pam was born July 2, 1974 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of David and Debra (Hayward) Aukerman and was raised in Mattawan. She had worked for Gentiva for several years as a Registered Nurse, in the Medicaid Programs such as the Mother-Infant Program, Home Health Care and finding resources for funds to help Mothers in difficult medical situations. She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Willard and Barbara Aukerman. Pam is survived by her parents, Dave and Deb Aukerman of Mattawan; her children, Kyle Aukerman and Kayla Marie; her sister, Jennifer Drake; her brother, David (Peggy) Aukerman; her maternal grandparents, Robert and Shirley Hayward; several cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, including a very special nephew, Chase.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 AM Saturday in the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel 411 E. Centre Ave. with Pastor John Vick and Pastor Mark Minger, officiating.

Interment will follow in Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to a Y.W.C.A. Domestic Assault Program. 269-343-1508

November 05, 2007 Newspaper Article

Plainwell puzzled by murder-suicide
Posted by mholland November 05, 2007 12:56PM

OTSEGO -- Plainwell police officers today are struggling to understand what may have prompted a seven-year officer on the force to kill his wife and then shoot himself late Sunday.

"We are at a loss when it comes to that," said Plainwell Public Safety Director Bill Bomar.

"We don't know much about what his marital life was like."

After a relative called Otsego police, officers went to the home of Kevin and Pam Brainard, 707 Brookside Drive, and found Pam Brainard, 33, dead of gunshot wounds. Kevin Brainard also was in the house, critically wounded from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He later died at Borgess-Pipp Hospital.Court records show the Brainards were married Sept. 16, 2006, in Plainwell and bought the Brookside Drive house in 2005.

Bomar described Kevin Brainard as a "very good officer" and said he was active in the community as an assistant soccer coach at Otsego High School."

Soccer and firefighting were his passions," Bomar said.The next-door neighbor of the Brainards said the couple has a 2-year-old daughter. The neighbor, Patricia Finnegan, did not know whether the daughter was home when the shootings occurred.

Finnegan said the Brainards seemed like a normal couple and had made many improvements to their house."They put a lot of work into the house. They put new windows in and added a sunroom," she said, describing them as "very nice."

She was not aware of any domestic problems in the family and wonders what might have prompted the shooting."Everybody is asking that, but nobody has answers," she said.

Meanwhile, the Plainwell Police Department has brought grief counselors to help other officers cope with the deaths.

November 5, 2007 newspaper article

Presumed murder-suicide involved Plainwell police officer
Posted by efinnert
November 05, 2007 11:55AM

OTSEGO -- Autopsies were to be performed Monday on a Plainwell public-safety officer and his wife found shot in an apparent murder-suicide Sunday night.

A family member called police after discovering the bodies of Kevin and Pam Brainard in their home in the 700 block of Brookside Drive at 10 p.m., police said. It appeared that Kevin Brainard, 31, shot his wife, who was dead when police arrived, and then turned the gun on himself, according to the Otsego Police Department.

Kevin Brainard was pronounced dead a short time after reaching the Borgess-Pipp Hospital emergency room, said Otsego Police Chief Gordon Konkle.Konkle said Monday morning that it wasn't clear what led to the presumed murder-suicide.

"Obviously, it appears to be a domestic situation," he said. "We are trying to backtrack with friends and relatives."

Autopsies were to be performed Monday at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

Konkle said Kevin Brainard was with the Plainwell Department of Public Safety for about seven years and was a volunteer firefighter in Otsego for perhaps 10 years. He grew up in Otsego.

"It's a small town. He's well-known ... with his job in the fire department and Plainwell," Konkle said. "This was a shock and a tragedy."
Abuse allegations in Plainwell murder-suicide
Posted by mholland November 05, 2007 17:50PM

OTSEGO -- A 31-year-old woman slain by her husband, a Plainwell police officer, told him she planned to leave him before he allegedly shot her and then himself in a murder-suicide, friends of the woman say."

He tried to control everything she did," said Rich Klemmer, a friend of Pam Brainard. "When he thought he was going to lose her, he offed her."

Klemmer, who knew Brainard as a caring nurse who worked in Kalamazoo, left a bouquet of flowers on the Brainards' front porch this afternoon and briefly prayed.

Police believe Kevin Brainard, a seven-year officer with the Plainwell Public Safety Department and an Otsego firefighter, first shot his wife and then himself sometime Sunday night. She was discovered dead at their Brookside Drive home, while Kevin Brainard died later at the hospital.

The couple's 2-year-old daughter, Kayla, was in the home during the shootings but was not harmed.

Family and friends of Pam Brainard said she was in an emotionally abusive relationship, but was hesitant to go to police because her husband was an officer.

But Otsego Police Chief Gordon Konkle said police would have taken any complaint seriously."Nothing was ever reported," he said. "(Domestic violence) is just not tolerated any more. We would not cover it up."

Novemeber 5, 2007 Newspaper article

11/05/07 Channel 3/WWMT Evening Newscast on Pam’s murder
Kalamazoo Channel 3 Video link:*****Plainwell officer kills wife, then himselfUpdated:
Nov 5, 2007 08:10 PM CST

By JOE LaFURGEYOTSEGO -- Jennifer Drake remembers the last calls from and to the home on Brookeside Drive in Otsego Sunday Night.

One, a voice mail message from her brother-in-law, Kevin Brainard, followed by a call she made."I told her, I said, 'Pam, you've got to get out of the house. He's calling, leaving us messages. He doesn't sound good,'" Drake told 24 Hour News 8. "'Get out of the house!'

"Within that same hour, Pam Brainard, a nurse and mother of two, was dead. Police believe Kevin Brainard, a Plainwell police officer and firefighter, shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself.

The couple's 2-year-old daughter was in the home, but not injured."I knew how bad things are getting for her, but I really thought she was going to get out of there," Drake said.

Drake said her sister had just told Brainard she was filing for divorce. The two had been married about a year. But it was a tough year for Pam, according to her sister."He played mind games with her," Drake said. "I mean, her phone would be filled with 100 calls a day by him. Her receipts were checked. I mean, every little thing of hers was under a microscope with him."

But Pam Brainard never contacted police. Her sister said she knew it could ruin his career, and she wasn't convinced she'd get anywhere with a complaint.

Drake said, "She didn't feel comfortable because of him being a police officer in that town."But Otsego's police chief said police officers are held to higher standards.

"I think there's a lot of pain now. There's a lot of pain. She's upset," said Chief Gordon Konkle.

"Hopefully she doesn't really believe that."Kevin Brainard's boss, Plainwell Director of Public Safety Bill Bomar, said Brainard was a good officer who received commendations for traffic enforcement including drunk driving.

Brainard, like other officers in the department, went through a psychiatric evaluation before being hired.