Former Bad Axe police chief accused of killing wife, then himself

Motel where the bodies of a man and woman were found / WILX

A community reacts to the news that its former police chief is believed to have kidnapped and killed his wife, then allegedly killed himself.

The family of the former police chief and his wife contacted the Huron County Sheriff Department Tuesday when they couldn't find them.

Police found a man and a woman inside this a Lansing-area motel Tuesday afternoon.

Around the same time, the family of Gary and Rhonda Bucholtz were reporting them missing to the Huron County Sheriff Department.

The sheriff knew Gary, and worked with him at the City of Bad Axe for two years.

He says he was surprised to hear what happened.

"You know, depression and the other factors can make a human being do things that they certainly shouldn't do," says Huron Co. Sheriff Kelly Hanson.

Across the small community of Bad Axe, the news spreads fast and is the talk of the town.

Bad Axe resident Helen Volk says, "I just couldn't believe it. I thought, oh not again, not something like that."

The Bad Axe Police Department, that Gary led for around 10-years, released this statement:

"The Bad Axe Police Department and the City of Bad Axe are deeply saddened by the news of the deaths of former Chief of Police Gary Bucholtz and his wife Rhonda Bucholtz. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Gary and Rhonda and we will support them during their time of grieving."

Family members say the couple was having marital problems over the last several months.

Police believe Gary could have kidnapped Rhonda, taking her to a Mason motel, where authorities believe he could have killed her and himself.

Law enforcement officials say they're often held to a higher standard but that they're not perfect.

"We're also human and humans sometimes, depending on what state they may or may not be in or what's going on in their life, make bad decisions," says Hanson.

The medical examiner is still working on a positive identification.

The couple has a 5-year-old child.