Tecumseh, MI

Brother of Missing Dee Ann Warner Reacts to Lawyer's Claim She is Alive

Tracy Stengel

Dee Ann Warner and Gregg Hardy in 2006.Photo byParker Hardy

After hours of arguments yesterday in Lenawee County Probate Court, the trial date to declare the death of Dee Ann Warner, missing Tecumseh, Michigan mother and grandmother, was delayed. The new pretrial date is May 12, 2023, at 10 AM and the jury trial, assuming sufficient evidence is shown in the pretrial, will be June 20–21, 2023, at 9 AM each day.

Dee’s husband, Dale Warner, whom her family believes is responsible for her death, was not present in the courtroom. However, Mark Weisberg, a convicted felon who used to be Dale’s accountant and is now referred to in court papers as his personal assistant, was present.

During the pretrial yesterday, Lawrence Leib, attorney representing Dale Warner, said, “Our belief is, and our theory of the case is, Ms. Warner chose to leave the community on her own.” He went on to claim Dee misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars from Dale and Dee’s businesses. “She had essentially bled the companies to the point of which there’s over $500,000 tax debt to the IRS. And that, with overwhelming issues coming down on her, she chose to leave the community. We don’t believe that she is deceased at all. We believe she chose to leave, and at some point, will be found. We believe that she will, at some point, come back. Dale Warner, Your Honor, has been under an enormous amount of pressure for almost two years. To date, there has not been one scintilla of evidence produced, in any capacity, that would suggest that he had anything to do with Ms. Warner’s, if you want to call it, disappearance.”

Leib later added, “We believe Ms. Warner is not deceased at all. In fact, we believe she’s living, maybe even in this community.”

Afterward, Gregg Hardy, Dee’s brother, reacting to Leib's claims, said, “He’s acting like an unprofessional, mercenary attorney. No one would say that kind of thing at this stage in the game about someone who has been cared about so much in the community. That’s a ridiculous statement — an inflammatory statement — from a guy who is supposed to be a lawyer. And you can underline the words supposed to be.

Hardy continued with, “He’s nothing but a hired gun. It has nothing to do with right or wrong. It has nothing to do with justice. It only has to do with him running his big mouth and getting a paycheck. It’s high time to call out people like this. It’s disgusting that we allow people to do that kind of thing with no repercussions.”

The trial was delayed due to an error in the original petition filed in September 2022, made by a former member of the legal team representing Dee’s adult children. Hardy said, “We relied on the recommendation of other legal persons, and it was a poor recommendation, frankly. Now, the family has to live with the consequences.”

As to Hon. Catherine Sala’s decision to delay the case, Hardy said, “I truly believe she did the best she could do with the circumstances she was given. She was as fair as she could be.”

Hardy expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of sympathy and concern his family has received throughout this painful time. “The community has been the backbone supporting us through this process as we fight to get justice for Dee. It’s been almost two years now, and their continued support is amazing. The only solace the family has is the support of the community. My sister would be overwhelmed with gratitude if she could see this happening for her.”

Hardy concluded our interview by saying, “There’s very few good things that have come out of this, but one of the great things, for me, is a newfound belief in humanity. People really, sincerely care. And that’s a pretty big deal.”

You can find more information about the disappearance of Dee Ann Warner here or join the Justice for Dee Facebook page for all the updates.

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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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