The case of Dee Warner has not gone cold. Last year, the Michigan State Police took over the investigation after local authorities asked them to help. Once they did, the scope of the investigation widened.
Investigators began executing search warrants this week. WXYZ reports that police were at several locations in Lenawee County looking for clues and trying to find out what happened to Warner. Sheriff Troy Beveier said: “We’re a small community. A lot of people knew Dee, and so this really hits close to home. There’s a lot of people that this is impacting.”
Previous searches didn't turn up any leads or evidence of foul play. Though many suspect that Warner's estranged husband Dale did something to her. He is not a person of interest in the case, as of press time.
Bevier told WDIV last year that no big tips or leads came in but some searches were done to rule out certain areas that Warner might be. He said that it was the work of the police that led them in the direction that they were going. "...We’ve been pretty much following up on every lead and all the information, and this just seemed like a prudent time to come out and do another search -- a really good, thorough search of the property.”
Dee Warner has been missing since April 25, 2021.
When her daughter, Rikkell Bock, arrived at her house that morning, Warner was nowhere to be seen. She told Dateline NBC that they were going to have breakfast and go shopping as was their tradition. Bock's boyfriend was working on their house, so she brought the kids with her to spend time with grandma.
As Bock describes it, she initially wasn't worried. She assumed her mom had gone to work in her office, which was on the property, so she started cooking breakfast. After she finished, she became worried. Warner was still nowhere to be seen. After some debate, she went to the office but her mother was not there.
Warner wasn't answering her phone, which was another sign that something was wrong. Bock says that her mother always answered and often called asking for pictures of the kids.
Further making the mystery worrisome for the family is that Warner was planning on ending her relationship. She'd told several people that Dale was abusive towards her, including her brother. Her husband denies the abuse allegations and that there was anything wrong in the relationship.
Though, some experts point out that he hasn't done himself any favors. While not an official suspect in the case, he had said and done some things that have led people to wonder what he's hiding. Chief among them is the theory he and his attorney had floated that Warner is still alive. According to Dateline NBC, he believes that his spouse decided to leave because she wanted a new life. Je claims there is no evidence that she is dead and has fought with the rest of the family to stop the death declaration.
Bock says that's nonsense. She says her mother would not abandon her children and grandchildren in that way. Her attorney, Billy Little, pointed out that Dale didn't seem to be all worried about his wife being missing.
The family also points out that there was a motive for Dale wanting his wife dead.
They allege that Dale and Warner argued over money. Little and Bock also point out that Warner's company owned 100% of Dale's trucking company. Further, they have evidence that the missing mother paid off more than $1 million in agricultural business debts for her partner.
Last year, Bock went to the Michigan probate court and asked to have her mother declared dead. Dale opposed the move saying there is no evidence that Warner did die and that she's likely alive somewhere.
A hearing was originally scheduled to be held in March, however, it was delayed. WTOL reports that a new hearing is scheduled for June.