Old Greenwich Fire Victim Died of Gunshot Wound [UPDATE]

Chief state medical examiner has ruled Dean Verboven's death was a suicide.


Updated 12:55 p.m.:

Greenwich Police say that even with a medical examiner's ruling that the man found inside a burning Old Greenwich home earlier this week had committed suicide, investigators still haven't determined exactly what heppened inside the 46 Havemeyer Ln. home.

It was in the two-story brick and vinyl-sided house at the corner of Havemeyer and MacArthur Drive that Greenwich firefighters found Barbara Verboven, 69, beneath the covers of her bed in a first-floor bedroom on Oct. 2. Her son, Dean Verboven, 42, "was found on the floor in the same bedroom adjacent to the mother's bed," said police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray. "He had an injury to the head which was obviously a grave injury," Gray said during a Friday morning press conference.

Gray said a pistol belonging to Dean Verboven was found in the house. "The medical examiner has determined that the wound was self-inflicted and ruled the cause of death a suicide," Gray said. Asked whether investigators found a suicide note, Gray said, "we do have some writings that are part of the investigation."

At this point, it remains an arson investigation, Gray said. "We are still investigating where the fire started ... we still have to determine who set the fire, where, when, how," Gray said.

Barbara Verboven remains in critical condition in the burn center at Bridgeport Hospital. "Mrs. Verboven has not regained consciousness so we haven't had the opportunity to interview her and other family members as to what exactly transpired," Gray said.

Dean, who was known as Duke to family and friends, was his mother's primary caregiver. According to neighbors and authorities, she had been ill for several years and bedridden.

Over the years, the home and the property had become increasingly unkempt and cluttered, causing concern among neighbors. Authorities said earlier this week that firefighters' efforts were hampered by the extreme nature of the clutter both inside and outside the home.


Original story:

The 42-year-old man who was pulled from a burning Old Greenwich residence earlier this week died from a gunshot wound to the head in an apparent suicide, authorities said.

Dean Verboven was pulled from the burning 46 Havemeyer Ln. home he shared with his mother Barbara Verboven, 69, by Greenwich firefighters on Oct. 2. Neighbors reported the fire after seeing smoke pouring from the windows of the home at the corner of Havemeyer and MacArthur Drive shortly after 7 a.m.

Dean, who was known as Duke to family and friends, died of a gunshot wound to the head and his death was ruled a suicide, according to the office of the Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner. Barbara Verboven, who neighbors said was in ill health, was taken to the burn center of Bridgeport Hospital where she was in critical condition Friday.

In an e-mail Friday morning, Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray said more information will be released at 11 a.m. Friday.

Greenwich Patch will update this story as detail become available. For updates, follow @GreenwichPatch on Twitter.


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