Lenawee County Sheriff Answers Tough Questions About the Dee Ann Warner Case

Tracy Stengel

Photo courtesy of the author.

Dee Ann Warner, Tecumseh, Michigan resident, mother of five, grandmother of six, sister and aunt was reported missing April 25, 2021. It has been a grueling year for her family and friends who demand justice for Dee.

In an interview with me today, Lenawee County Sheriff Troy Brevier answered some questions members of the community have been wondering about. When asked why the case wasn’t publicized more in the beginning and why it wasn’t widely broadcast until last fall, Sheriff Brevier stated, “The initial searches used helicopters, drones, and technology to the best of our ability, as well as using a mounted unit as opposed to calling hundreds and hundreds of volunteers to walk through hundreds and hundreds of acres which we didn’t have permission to walk through. That area is pretty secluded, so if someone wasn’t looking at a particular time, they probably didn’t see us.”

According to Parker Hardy, Dee’s nephew, on the initial search, Dale Warner accompanied detectives and cut the search short after an hour and a half. When officers returned the same day with a search warrant, Mr. Warner accompanied them again and cautioned them against searching the fertilizer barn, claiming the cadaver dogs may be comprised if the fertilizer was absorbed through their paws. When I asked Sheriff Brevier why Mr. Warner was a part of the search and not asked to leave the property, Sheriff Brevier said, “It’s not unusual for somebody to stay if we’re doing a search warrant.”

When asked why the fertilizer barn wasn’t searched regardless of Mr. Warner’s claims, Sheriff Brevier said, “There is a lot of misinformation out there, but I can tell you after talking to the detectives who were out there, everything was searched.”

When asked if there is a main suspect in the case, Sheriff Brevier said, “Dale Warner is well aware he is the primary person of interest having been the last person to see her.”

There has been speculation that Mr. Warner may have gotten some leniency from the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office from the beginning, due to the fact Mr. Warner’s long-term employee’s cousin is dating the detective on the case. Sheriff Brevier countered that by saying, “We have been extremely open and treated everyone as we would in any investigation.”

Sheriff Brevier attending the candlelight vigil for Dee Ann Warner.Photo courtesy of the author.

Sheriff Brevier assured me Dee’s case is not on the back burner. “I can’t think of a time in the last year that this case hasn’t been our focus during talks at briefing and things we do at the Sheriff’s Office. Having the Michigan State Police and FBI all working on this case is huge.”

When pressed to say when this case would be solved, Sheriff Brevier said, “When asked are we closer to closing this? No. Absolutely not. We are still working on this, but as we continue, we are making sure we aren’t missing anything. We’re ruling out things people have said and still tracking down tips.”

Pressed further, Sheriff Brevier said, “The longer time goes by, it makes other things that have been said less plausible. A lot less plausible.”

Sheriff Brevier wants answers as much as the community does. “We want the truth — whatever the truth is — that’s what we want. If there is somebody accountable, we want to hold them accountable.”

Dee Warner’s family wants to keep Dee’s name alive as they rally to get Justice for Dee. Yard signs, bracelets and decals are available at Twisted Scissors Salon and Chic Design Studio in Adrian, Michigan. You can also order shirts through Adrian Sign here.

If you have any information about Dee Ann Warner’s disappearance, please contact Detective Greca at (517) 264–5364.

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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