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First auction of Westerhuis estate generates $120,270

PLATTE -- The contents of the Westerhuis family gym, which was owned by the Platte man authorities believed killed himself and five family members last year, sold for a total of $120,270 in the first of two auctions of the family's estate.

People look at the items available for auction at the Westerhuis property in Platte on Friday. The estate is up for auction following the alleged murder-suicide of the Westerhuis family by Scott Westerhuis last year. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)
People look at the items available for auction at the Westerhuis property in Platte on Friday. The estate is up for auction following the alleged murder-suicide of the Westerhuis family by Scott Westerhuis last year. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)
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PLATTE - The contents of the Westerhuis family gym, which was owned by the Platte man authorities believed killed himself and five family members last year, sold for a total of $120,270 in the first of two auctions of the family’s estate.

The estate is being auctioned off after Judge Bruce Anderson ruled the family’s remaining property could be sold to pay off creditors. Many of the 259 items included in the internet auction, which was held Monday morning, are exercise equipment, furniture and appliances.

Of the 259 items available for bid, only two items did not meet the minimum bid required for sale. Those two items, a basketball hoop and a wood gym basketball floor, will be available at the second Westerhuis estate auction scheduled for Sept. 16.

The bids received on the 257 items sold ranged from $12.50 to $6,000. Two items were sold at $12.50, including miscellaneous parts for exercise equipment and 11 waste baskets. The $6,000 item is a Korebalance exercise machine.

The 257 items sold averaged a total of $467.97.

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The Westerhuis family estate became available nearly one year after Scott Westerhuis allegedly shot and killed his wife and four children on their large compound in rural Platte. A fire then consumed the Westerhuis home, a fire authorities believe was initiated by the Westerhuis patriarch. The alleged murder-suicide came after Westerhuis allegedly took more than $1 million from the GEAR UP program - which provides higher-education assistance to low-income families - while working as the business manager at the Mid-Central Educational Cooperative.

A second auction will be held on Friday at the Westerhuis estate at 36705 279th St. in Platte. The second auction begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be overseen by Wieman Land & Auction Co.

Friday’s auction features several large items that went undamaged in last year’s fire at the Platte property. Items include watercrafts, trucks, tools and building supplies, as well as the 40.44-acre property itself.

The property includes pasture land, a large gymnasium, office space, a weight room, four unfinished apartments and attached storage buildings. Other items include an eight-person hot tub, a wood sauna, pool equipment and several ATVs and utility vehicles.

The Platte Area Ministerial Association has shown interest in purchasing the property to establish a youth camping and retreat center. On Sunday, the Ministerial Association held a community meeting to discuss the future of the Westerhuis estate.

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