Detectives in Kentwood, Michigan, believed Amber Guichelaar's death was suspicious

By KC Baker
January 12, 2021 11:53 AM
Richard and Amber Guichelaar
| Credit: Facebook

When pregnant mother of two Amber Guichelaar was found dead in her Michigan home in November, police were suspicious.

Now, nearly two months later, police in Kentwood have arrested her husband, Richard James Guichelaar, 35, of Kentwood, Deputy Chief Bryan Litwin of the Kentwood Police Department announced Saturday in a release.

Richard Guichelaar was arrested on Saturday in connection with the death of his wife, a beloved 32-year-old teacher, who died of strangulation on Nov. 16 at the home she shared with him and their two children, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by and WOOD-TV.

"Kentwood Police detectives believed that the cause of her death was suspicious," Litwin wrote in the release.

"Kentwood detectives worked this case for almost two months, and with the help of the Kent County Medical Examiner's Office, they were able to develop probable cause to arrest a suspect for her murder."

Amber Guichelaar was pregnant with her third child when she was killed. She died three days before her 33rd birthday.

On Monday, Richard Guichelaar was arraigned in court on an open murder charge.

His bond was set at $2 million.

He has not yet entered a plea and remains held in jail until his next court date, scheduled for Jan. 21.

His attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

On the night his wife died, Richard Guichelaar called 911 at about 3:30 a.m. to report that he had found her dead in their bed, according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by and WOOD.

The medical examiner conducted an autopsy and ruled Amber Guichelaar's death a homicide by strangulation/asphyxiation, according to the affidavit.

The medical examiner found "injuries consistent with an assault which occurred just prior to her death," the affidavit shows, WOOD reports.

On the night she died, Richard Guichelaar was the only person at home "capable of causing such injuries," the affidavit says.

In addition, "Statements given by Richard do not fully explain the circumstances which resulted in Amber's death," the detective assigned to the cause wrote in the document, reports.

Richard Guichelaar works for a landscaping and snowplowing business, reports.

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A graduate of Calvin College, Amber Guichelaar began her career teaching Spanish at South Christian High School for four years, she wrote in an essay on Prezi in 2014.

She later moved to the Kentwood Public Schools where she taught students learning English as a second language.

"My whole life, it seems, being a teacher is what I wanted to do," she wrote. "I felt as if it were what God was calling me to do. I think it's mainly because I love being around people, and I love learning."

As her husband awaits his next court date, Amber Guichelaar's family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of the middle school teacher.

"This has been a difficult time for the Kentwood family, the students, staff, and ultimately the involved families," Kentwood Public Schools said in a statement. "In trauma situations, the district and building leadership continue to provide ongoing support to students and staff as they grieve this loss. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family as they cope with this tragedy."

GoFundMe account has been set up for Guichelaar's two daughters.

"We rejoice for Amber is with her heavenly father but her two girls are still here," organizer Carley Veltema wrote.

"Amber's sister Brittany will be taking care of the girls and their future! Exactly who Amber chose for their care. The girls are being well cared for at this time but we know there is a lot ahead. Please consider donating for the girls future."

So far, well-wishers have donated more than $51,000.