Should Lead Detective Recuse Himself from the Dee Ann Warner Missing Person Case?

Tracy Stengel

Should Lead Detective Be Recused from Dee Ann Warner’s Missing Person Case?
Dee Ann WarnerPhoto via Lenawee County Fair and Event Grounds Facebook page.

Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office have had 15 months to figure out what happened to Dee Ann Warner, a Tecumseh, Michigan mother and grandmother, who was reported missing April 25, 2021. So far, they haven’t provided any answers and there haven’t been any arrests.

In March 2022, frustrated family members reached out to Billy Little, Jr., investigative attorney, after seeing him on 48 Hours. He answered their call for help and formed a team of top-notch experts to find out what happened to Dee. Little has worked countless hours and hasn’t had a day off since taking on the case. And he’s doing it for free. Chris McDonough, retired homicide detective, is a member of that team and also hosts the YouTube channel, The Interview Room.

Last night, on The Interview Room, McDonough and Little gave an update to their investigation of Dee Ann Warner’s disappearance. As they presented evidence against Dee’s husband, Dale Warner, irritation with how law enforcement has been handling the case began to bubble up and eventually boiled over. You can watch it here

Little has shared his team’s findings with Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office, yet they haven’t taken action. Little muses, “Are they, you know, working in cahoots with him, on the take with him, or are they just incompetent?”

Little and McDonough repeatedly said they have the upmost respect for law enforcement and regretted having to speak out against their lackadaisical attitude in solving this case. “We’ve been holding off on this for a long time. For one, because we don’t want to hurt our prosecution,” Little said.

For months, Little has handed over important pieces of evidence and provided statements from witnesses to Lead Detective, Kevin Greca. Greca has showed no sense of urgency in following up on the information. He often told Little he’d get to it on Monday, so much so, Little has coined local law enforcement, “The Mañana Investigators.” Little said, “Don’t be a homicide investigator if you think you can do it 9 to 5.”
Dee Ann Warner.Photo courtesy of Parker Hardy.

In the podcast, Little shared an audio tape of Todd Neyrinck, a long-time employee of Dee and Dale Warner, saying that Detective Greca has been dating his first cousin throughout the investigation and felt it was a conflict of interest. On tape, Neyrinck said when the police came to seize his phones, Greca had signed the search warrant. Neyrinck said Greca should have recused himself as soon as his name came up in the investigation.

McDonough said, “Homicide 101or Missing Persons 101 is if there is a conflict of interest in relationship to an investigator, you’ve got to — they’ve got to — step out. Check the ego at the door and let someone else take over the investigation,”

When a woman described as a “massage therapist” approached Greca a year ago with taped conversations of her and a client with inside information on the case, Greca laughed at her and sent her on her way. Greca never obtained a single recording. When the woman approached Little, instead of belittling her, he called her a hero and was able to get important information. As to Greca rebuffing her, Little said, “It’s not your job to judge people. It’s your job to collect evidence. Collect facts.” He continued with, “Your failure to follow up on that shows your lack of experience.”

Little has questions for Detective Greca. Why hasn’t he searched for the clothes Dee was wearing when she was last seen? Why hasn’t there been a forensic audit of Dale and Dee’s businesses when there is evidence Dale used a forged power of attorney to take over Dee’s trucking business? There is also evidence of tax evasion. Most importantly, Little asks why, according to Todd Neyrinck, is Detective Greca sharing information of the case with his girlfriend and others?

Looking into the camera, Little continues speaking directly to Greca. “Are you trying to tank this case? Are you trying to destroy the prosecution in this case? In what universe is it okay for a law enforcement officer to criticize and critique evidence, information, and witnesses out in the community when you’re going to need to go to trial?”

If you have concerns about how law enforcement is handling Dee Ann Warner’s disappearance, make your voice be heard. You can reach Sheriff Troy Bevier at (517) 264–5368.

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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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