Los Osos woman dies; murder charge filed against son

nwilson@thetribunenews.comMay 15, 2012 

A 56-year-old Los Osos woman allegedly assaulted by her son in April died from her injuries Tuesday, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Lisa Ann Van Heuver died shortly after 9 a.m. at Mission View Health Center in San Luis Obispo as a result of injuries from the suspected attack late last month, according to the sheriff.

Van Heuver’s son, 23-year-old Michael Bret Van Heuver of Los Osos, is the only suspect in the investigation and has been charged with premeditated murder.

The incident occurred about 5 p.m. April 27 at Seventh Street near San Luis Avenue, sheriff’s officials said. Sheriff’s spokesman Aaron Nix said Lisa Van Heuver was brain dead and taken off ventilation — in accordance with her family’s decision — before her death. An autopsy will be conducted today.

The Sheriff’s Office isn’t releasing specific details of the ongoing investigation into how the alleged assault occurred.

Pamela Van Heuver, the victim’s sister, said her nephew had substance-abuse issues, and her sister was trying to help him get his life on track.

Michael Van Heuver’s criminal record shows that he was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public in 2008. That case was dismissed after he completed 10 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Also, a pending criminal case filed this year accuses Michael Van Heuver of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Nix said deputies previously had been called to the home where Michael Van Heuver lived with his mother to respond to his “mental health issues.”

Pamela Van Heuver said her nephew had played in a local band in past years and attended the New Mexico Military Institute in high school.

She said his behavior had been problematic for his mother in recent years.

“She tried to get him into a music school in L.A., but that didn’t work out, and so she encouraged him to enroll in music classes at Cuesta College,” Pamela Van Heuver said. “She was a lovely person, an angel.”

Pamela Van Heuver said her older sister grew up in the Los Angeles area and attended Beverly Hills High School, graduating in 1974.

She described her sister, who was retired after a career as a contractor and computer technician, as a devoted and loving mother who would have done anything to help her only child.

She had posted several messages in her home as positive reinforcements to encourage her son, Pamela Van Heuver said.

Pamela Van Heuver said her sister had lived in Los Osos for many years, where she cared for several animals, including dogs and a turkey, and that she once had a pig she called “Pig Floyd.”

Michael Van Heuver was initially charged with attempted murder in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, entering a plea of not guilty, before the amended charge was brought following his mother’s death.

Van Heuver is scheduled to appear before Judge John Trice on Tuesday for a pre-preliminary hearing.

Van Heuver is being held without bail in County Jail, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Anyone with information regarding the assault is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 781-4500 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 549-7867. Tips can be sent by text message to 274637 (CRIMES) with the text “SLOTIP” plus the message.

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