A man whose wife and infant son were found slain last week in the family’s north Fort Worth home has been jailed in Colorado and is now accused in their deaths.
Fort Worth homicide detectives obtained a capital murder warrant Thursday for Craig Alan Vandewege, hours after the 35-year-old Fort Worth man was arrested in Glenwood Springs, Colo., for allegedly speeding and failing to show proof of insurance.
Vandewege was in the processing of posting bond at the Garfield County Jail on Thursday afternoon when authorities in Colorado were notified of the warrant.
“My understanding is he was in the process of bonding out and just about to leave,” said Glendwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson.
Bail on the warrant is set at $1 million.
Vandewege called 911 on the night of Dec. 15 to report that he had come home to find his wife, Shanna Riddle Vandewege, and their 3-month-old son, Diederik, dead in the home in the 8500 block of Cactus Flower Drive.
The necks of the mother and baby — who were found in their beds — had been cut, and their deaths were ruled homicides.
Homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman would not disclose Thursday what evidence investigators have linking Vandewege to the slayings.
Vandewege had reportedly gone to Colorado to attend the pair’s funeral service.
A report obtained by the Star-Telegram details his encounter with Glenwood Springs police late Wednesday as follows:
Glenwood Springs police were dispatched to a 7-Eleven about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday after a caller reported that a man had stated he was on the run from police and had gotten into a white Hyundai with no front license plate.
The caller told dispatchers that the man, whom he identified as “Craig Allen,” had borrowed his phone to call a few people to talk about a murder. He gave the direction the man was heading.
Shortly after 11 p.m., an officer spotted a similar vehicle with no rear license plate. The officer followed the car, watching as it pulled into a Shell gas station. The officer saw the male driver get out of the car, retrieve a license plate from the trunk and screw it onto the license plate holder.
The driver then got back into the car and drove away, accelerating rapidly, the report states.
After clocking the car traveling 37 mph in a 25-mph zone, the officer pulled over the Hyundai, which now showed a rear Texas license plate.
Vandewege told the officer that he didn’t realize he was speeding and that he was headed to Las Vegas.
“It’s been a long week, my wife and kid were murdered in Texas,” Vandewege is quoted in the report as telling the officers.
He then handed the officers an attorney’s contract for services, telling them they could call his attorney if they needed to verify what he was telling them.
“He stated that his wife and son were murdered in Ft Worth, Tx. He was showing no emotion while telling this” to the officer, the report states.
Glenwood Springs contacted Fort Worth police, who advised that Vandewege had not been ruled out as a suspect in his wife and child’s slaying, had “fled the area” and hadn’t had contact with investigators since, the report states.
Glenwood Springs police asked Vandewege to step out of his car after he presented them with an expired insurance card, but he responded, “No, I’m not getting out.”
“This went on for approximately 5 minutes and he finally agreed to get out of the vehicle,” the report states.
Vandewege was then handcuffed. Asked if he had any knives on him, Vandewege reportedly told the officer, “No, I’m not a knife guy.”
Police did find two loaded pistols on Vandewege — one in a waistband holder and one in an ankle holster. Vandewege presented officers with a concealed handgun permit issued in Weld County, Colo.
“I did not observe a wedding band on Craig’s left ring finger, but he stated a wedding ring was in his pocket along with numerous condoms,” the report states.
Vandewege was taken to jail and his car was impounded. Inside the vehicle, police located numerous boxes of different caliber ammunition, empty gas cans, camouflage clothing, numerous bottles of medication, an AR-15-style rifle and a .22-caliber revolver.
The couple moved to Fort Worth earlier this year from Colorado. Vandewege worked at a Costco, and his wife was a registered nurse at a hospital.
Mark Riddle, Shanna Vandewege’s father, has said that his daughter had previously suffered three miscarriage and that the pair were ecstatic with the birth of their first child. She was on maternity leave when she and the baby were killed.
Before the capital murder warrant was issued, Riddle had expressed support for his son-in-law in a comment made on a Star-Telegram article, calling other comments left by readers “detrimental” to his daughter’s husband and “his innocence.”
“I believe in him and so do all of the other family members and friends gathered,” Riddle wrote. “Until you have had to deal with the mixed emotions that we’ve been experiencing since this episode, do not be judgmental lest you be judged.”