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Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2, Episode 5: Lady in the Lake

The penultimate episode of the season opens with a woman talking about how her mom was the most cautious and over protective woman in the world, so there was no way she would walk out in the ice and snow and take her own life in the lake. She is asked if her mom feared anyone, but she refuses to answer.

After the intro, the Director of Public Safety, Daniel Jensen, talks about finding the car of the woman (JoAnn) and how there was no reason for it to be there because church was over. The police found prints and a purse, so they begin a search and rescue mission.

Michelle talks about how the cops came over that fateful night and told her about the abandoned car. They ask if she is missing and she says no. Her sister Kellie chimes in, saying her mom’s phone was off. Michelle says that they, along with their brother Michael, began calling everyone they knew, but no one had seen their mom. Michelle adds her parents were separated and did not get along. All the kids also lived with their mom.

JoAnn’s brother John recalls getting the panic call from Michelle about his missing sister. The two of them go to the church where her car is to begin their own search.

Kellie recalls her mom being so loving and full of life. Her brother thinks of her as an angel and the closest person in his life.

Once JoAnn’s family shows up at the location of the car, they see cops, the Coast Guard and other search and rescue people. They are told she may have walked into the water, but the family doesn’t believe that at all. They think she could have vanished and are told there are no fingerprints or signs of a struggle. Nevertheless, the car is taken in to the police station.

After seeing some news footage, Michelle talks about how Grosse Pointe was a small, sleepy town and JoAnn loved to socialize. There was no reason she could have disappeared. As the search continued, nobody could think of where she was or where she could have gone. Michelle is in denial about everything, while the rescue team say they could not find her in the water.

There is speculation that JoAnn may of committed suicide, but her family and best friend Nancy do not believe this is the case because there was no note, she was a devout Catholic and seemed happy.

There is talk about crucial photographs not being taken and no real focus on the footprints. They reenact how she could have walked in the high heels and say there is no way this could have been done in heels, let alone in the ice and snow.

Michelle tries to retrace her mom’s steps, which include dropping off Michael and getting gas. The attendant that night says that nothing seemed amiss. JoAnn was then seen at the church for a prayer service.

After a month, Michelle hired FBI agent William Randall, who looked into her cell phone records. They realized she called a security company and maybe she was a bit more nervous and cautious after all. William also talked to her coworkers, who said JoAnn was on the phone more often than usual before her disappearance. She also worried about being followed and that her phone was tapped. She was also afraid of being alone, except at church.

Another witness recalls hearing a car alarm that night, while another says she was more cautious.

It is then discovered that JoAnn’s car was possibly moved.

The kids remember getting the call that her body was found in Boblo Island, 35 miles from where she was last seen. Everyone is devastated, then are determined to find justice for JoAnn. They hire PI Scott Lewis, who recalls the place having an amusement park back in the day and cannot figure out how her body got there. In fact, none of the people involved think it is a suicide anymore.

 

Dr. Jeffery Jentzen talks about the condition of JoAnn’s body when it was found. Her cause of death is undetermined, but he speculates if she had drowned or been dead before she got into the water due to things found on her lower body. He also questions bruises on her arms.

Michelle questions the condition of her purse, thinking that she could have been grabbed. She finds it strange they did not check it for DNA. She also said she was all zipped up (JoAnn NEVER would have done this) and her rosary and phone were missing. She also questions how her clothes and shoes were intact, thinking she was abducted in her car, killed her and put her in the water, returning the car later. She and the investigators believe the footprints and purse were left to make it look like a suicide.

John thinks more than one person could have been involved and wanted to scare her instead of kill her. The investigators wonder if she was being followed, as does her son.

Michelle thinks several people, including her own father could have been involved. She also thinks John or someone John knows could have been involved and this was a revenge killing. Interestingly, John does not deny this, but wishes they would have killed him instead.

Michelle also thinks JoAnn’s cousin Tim could have been involved, not only due to a falling out, but also because she had told Michelle to look at him if something happened to her. John reiterates the falling out with Tim. There was a lot of drama to the point where Tim was not welcome at the funeral. He is interviewed and denies all involvement.

The Romain children sued the City of Grosse Pointe Farms and additional defendants for conspiracy to cover up her murder, but it was dismissed.

The US District Court Judge said that there are disputed matters in this case and to this day it remains unsolved.

The family remember JoAnn as the show comes to a close and viewers are told to contact the show with any information.

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