Lori VanderWoude Did All She Could to Protect Her Family

Meghan Matthews

Lori VanderWoude Did All She Could to Protect Her Family

CREATED Feb. 27, 2013

An extreme case of domestic violence.

"I can't look a victim in the eye and say I'm gonna make you safe."

Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber says Lori VanderWoude couldn't have done anything else.

"Here I have somebody that does and is looking for protection and we still aren't able to stop this from happening. It's a scary situation and I don't know what we can do I'm aware it's a problem I don't know what else we can do."
She filed a protection order against her husband Mark last September. Only it didn't stop his bizarre behavior.
The order shows he tried running her off the road, sent her threatening text messages and neighbors say he loosened the gas lines to their home.
"We really don't do a very good job of protecting victims and I don't know we can with the system within which we work. She had done everything she could, she reported to police, she cooperated with the investigation, she turned it in you know, when there was a violation of protection order. I mean she had done everything that I you know as a prosecutor would do", adds Wilber.
Police say Mark rammed his truck into Lori's home Monday. He torched the place.
Police found his body in an upstairs bathroom, today, they tell me he died of smoke inhalation.
In less than a month Mark VanderWoude would have gone to court for domestic abuse. Trying to catch him in the act police even installed security cameras in the neighborhood.
Now left with nothing Lori, told us off camera, she and her three children are devastated.