At first, Marie Michael thought the figure silhouetted in her bedroom doorway was her son’s fiancée, Angie Ver Huel, perhaps slipping in to grab one of her possessions from the dresser. Then she blinked as a red laser light passed her eyes, illuminating a pillow. And then she realized the figure was too large to be her son’s fiancée or, indeed, her son Justin.
The intruder crept away. But moments later, Michael heard gunfire, followed by some shrieking. “I heard Angie scream, ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’” Michael told Dateline in September 2015. “I knew something terrible had happened.” She wasn’t wrong. Angie Ver Huel and Justin Michael – who had planned to get married in little more than two months’ time – had been the victims of a vicious and devastating attack.
The intruder fled the scene before they could be identified. And in the aftermath of the crime, the police considered a host of theories. Did Michael owe money? Was he a drug dealer? Or someone with an interest in organized crime? “For a moment,” Val Huel told Dateline, “I was thinking, was I about to marry somebody that I had no idea who he was?”