Fort Worth

Police: Investigation stalls in case of slain mom, baby, as husband lawyers up

Shanna Vandewege with her husband, Craig Vandewege, and their infant son, Diederik.
Shanna Vandewege with her husband, Craig Vandewege, and their infant son, Diederik.

The investigation into the slayings of a woman and her 3-month-old son has stalled after the woman’s husband told detectives he needed to consult his attorney before having further contact with investigators, police said Tuesday.

Craig Vandewege met briefly Monday with homicide investigators, the second such meeting since reporting Thursday night that he had discovered the bodies of his wife, Shanna Riddle Vandewege, and their infant son, Diederik, inside the family’s home in the 8500 block of Cactus Flower Drive.

The mother’s and baby’s necks had been cut and their deaths have been ruled a homicide.

During Monday’s meeting, Vandewege said he wanted to consult with his attorney before dealing with investigators further, according to Fort Worth homicide Detective Matt Barron.

Vandewege then left to call his attorney but has not been in contact with police since, Barron said. The detective said he has talked with a representative from the attorney’s office and is hopeful a meeting can be set up.

In such homicide investigations, Barron said it is vital for investigators to question and eliminate as suspects those closest to the victims first.

“It’s standard and it’s normal for us to try to exclude people close before we can move on and look elsewhere,” Barron said. “It stalls our investigation if there’s somebody that close that says flat out, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’

Asked if Vandewege is a suspect in the case, Barron said, “Anyone we can’t eliminate is obviously suspect until we can eliminate them.

“This extremely hinders our ability to move ahead and definitely hinders our ability to eliminate him,” he added.

A paralegal at The Barrows Firm confirmed Tuesday morning that attorney Leslie Barrows is representing Craig Vandewege.

“Ms. Barrows will be overshadowing the pretrial investigation for now,” said the paralegal, who would only identify herself by her first name, Caitlin. “Other than that, we are not available for comment at this time.”

Regarding the detective’s claim that the investigation was being stalled, the paralegal commented, “it’s normal practice (in) situations like this that people do seek legal counsel.”

Barrows did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Family members have said that the couple had moved from Colorado to Fort Worth earlier this year.

Craig Vandewege works at Costco. His wife, a registered nurse who worked at a local hospital, was on maternity leave at the time of her death, family members say.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.

Deanna Boyd: 817-390-7655, @deannaboyd