New information on 2010 death of Grosse Pointe Woods mother - KMSP-TV

New information on 2010 death of Grosse Pointe Woods mother

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JoAnn Romain JoAnn Romain
(WJBK) -

A Grosse Pointe Woods mother of three, JoAnn Romain, was found dead in the Detroit River nearly four years ago. Police say she died by suicide, but her family firmly believes she was murdered.

"I know that she was victim. I know this was homicide. I know that the police did not properly investigate this," says Michelle Romain, Joann's daughter.

Michelle has spent two hundred thousand dollars of her own money hiring attorneys, experts and private investigators who obtained police reports and interviewed countless witnesses to help prove it.

On January 12, 2010 Grosse Point Farms police said the 55-year-old mother of three attended a short mass at St. Paul Catholic Church then died by suicide after walking across the street into the icy waters of lake St. Clair. Around 9:30 that night, only two hours after church let out, police showed up at the family's house but no one had reported JoAnne missing.

Fox 2's Taryn Asher gets clarification from Michelle: "Police came to you and told you she was missing, that her car was abandoned, before you reported her missing?

"Correct. And she was actually driving my car that was registered to me," Michelle says.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more from Michelle in a report from Taryn Asher

JoAnne's Lexus was found in the church parking lot but Michelle says, according to witnesses who were interviewed, it had been moved. Witnesses also remember the panic alarm going off. That's what led Michelle to believe her mother was abducted and eventually dumped somewhere else.

Although an autopsy shows no sign of foul play Michelle believes nothing added up. JoAnne wasn't depressed; she was seen on surveillance video filling up her car with gas right before church. Also, that night there was no current. If JoAnne would have drowned in the shallow waters across the street from the church Michelle believes her body would have been found sooner than nearly two months later, and not 60 miles away in the Detroit river near Ontario.

Michelle believes her mother was abducted from church and murdered for a vendetta. A personal vendetta, she claims, against a close family member possibly tied to his money troubles. Why police refused to go along with this theory and investigate, Michelle says will be revealed in a press conference Wednesday morning, January 8, 2014.

The family has recently hired private investigator Scott Lewis, who is asking the Michigan State Police to reopen this case.

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