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Mark VanderWoude's Body Found in Burned Home

Meghan Matthews

Mark VanderWoude's Body Found in Burned Home

CREATED Feb. 26, 2013

Council Bluffs, IA - There's an un-nerving silence on Norwood Drive.

People living in this Council Bluffs neighborhood breathe a sigh of relief after learning Mark VanderWoude is gone.

Neighbor Pam Viestenz feels at ease. "You mean that he died? I was relieved because if he was staying here I'd had been out of this house cause he was doing crazy things to the neighborhood."

A fire broke out at the home Monday afternoon. Firefighters found VanderWoude's body in an upstairs bathroom.

Investigators believe the fire is suspicious. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber says VanderWoude has a violent history, "We were in the middle of prosecuting him on an aggravated domestic abuse charge set for trial on the 19th of March."

This isn't the first time police and fire crews have been to Mark VanderWoude's home.
"We were also involved in an active stalking investigation with Mr. VanderWoude", adds Wilber.
In September, Mark's wife, Lori VanderWoude, filed a protection order against him.  
She said Mark tried running her off the road with his car twice.
He sent her threatening text messages saying "eye for eye" and "let beatings begin."
The order also states Lori feared for her three children who felt uneasy around him and for her own life.
"Put sugar in her car tank, he did all kinds of things he was nuts," said Wilbur.
VanderWoude even stuffed towels in the exhaust vents of their home.
"Three weeks ago the fire department and everybody was out here, he loosened the gas line to the house. It's nuts."