Grand Rapids Community College professor Timothy A. Koets was arrested Thursday on multiple charges, including manslaughter and child abuse, stemming from the March 28 death of his 16-year-old son with special needs.
An associate professor of Computer Information Systems, Koets was arrested on GRCC’s Grand Rapids campus seven months after his son was found face down in their backyard swimming pool.
A resident of Georgetown Township, 50-year-old Koets was taken into custody without incident and lodged at the Ottawa County Jail. He is facing charges of manslaughter, second-degree child abuse, second-degree child abuse committed in the presence of another child and fourth-degree child abuse.
GRCC Communications Director David Murray released a brief statement on behalf of the college.
“We can confirm that associate professor Timothy Koets was arrested by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department today,” GRCC President Bill Pink said in the statement. “While we continue to monitor this situation, it would be inappropriate for us to discuss the matter at this point.”
Capt. Mark Bennett of the Investigative Division at the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office answered questions at a press conference Thursday afternoon. The press conference was live streamed by WOODTV8.
“There are some very disturbing facts that I feel will become more apparent during the course of the investigation as to some of the actions, or inactions, by the caregivers here,” Bennett said, “And to say that those facts are disturbing, I think they rose to the level of criminal charges, and so did the prosecutor, and obviously so did the judge, because he signed the warrant.”
When asked what a potential motive may have been for Koets, Bennett questioned it himself.
“What would be the motive for abuse?” he replied. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t yet released any motive for the tragic death of Koets’ son.
Spencer Payne, Feature Editor Maxx Kriger and News Editor Brianna Wetherbee contributed to this report.