Mother Talks About Domestic Abuse After Fire, Death

Meghan Matthews

Mother Talks About Domestic Abuse After Fire, Death

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Feb 28, 2013

Council Bluffs, IA - On Monday VanderWoude drove a truck through the garage of his estranged wife's home, then set the house on fire.

Rescuers found his body in an upstairs bathroom.

Court documents show a volatile relationship. Lori VanderWoude had filed an order of protection saying Mark was stalking her and putting her life in danger.   
Lori VanderWoude's mother, Peggy Hunter, can barely look at her daughter's burned home. She says the VanderWoude family lived through six months of domestic violence, constantly looking over their shoulder.
 
She hopes someone watching will hear her message and take a stand against it.

"You know when you know somebody for 13 years, you never you just never ever ever dream that it can end up like this, and to lose everything. She would say mom, when will it end? And I hope that society realizes that even as a neighbor sometimes we need you to step forward. I just hope, cause I know it's happening, it's not just my daughter that's lived through it. I just hope that you realize that you don't let it get this far out of hand."

Lori's neighbors did step up during those months. Peggy says her daughter and three grandchildren will not move back into their home. They plan to tear it down.