Plunge doctor kills sons then takes own life
DETECTIVES were searching the home of a respected cancer doctor last night for clues as to why he killed his two young sons by throwing them off a 15th-floor hotel balcony before leaping to his own death.
The bodies of eight-year-old Spencer Van Dyk and his brother Carl, four, landed with such force on the lobby roof at the Loews Hotel in Miami Beach after the 125ft plunge that a chandelier was shattered.
Police say they are treating the deaths of the boys and their father, Dr Edward Van Dyk, 43, on Saturday morning as a murder-suicide and have asked colleagues in Illinois to search the family's home in Gordon for a suicide note.
"This is an individual who had issues with his wife and selfishly took his children's lives," said Sgt Bobby Hernandez of the Miami Beach Police Department. "What would possess someone to take his two children, dressed in their pyjamas, and throw them over the balcony? It's a terrible tragedy."
Qinuo Van Dyk told police that she and her husband, a radiation oncologist, had experienced difficulties in their marriage during the last six months but had come to Florida to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.
She said she heard one of the boys screaming in their next-door room at the hotel and rushed in to see her husband jumping over the balcony. When she got to the balcony and looked over, she saw all three bodies lying on the roof.
"It's so horrific it's almost unbelievable," Sgt Hernandez said. Mrs Van Dyk, also a doctor, was last night being comforted by relatives and a police chaplain at the hotel while detectives continued to try to piece together her husband's motive for the murders.
A former colleague at the Norris Cotton Cancer Centre, New Hampshire, where Dr Van Dyk worked for two years before moving to the Alton Memorial Hospital 18 months ago, said:
"He had some difficult times and he had some trouble here. I guess he didn't sort of fit in."
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