Tecumseh, MI

Husband of Missing Dee Ann Warner: Judge Suspends His Authority to Harvest $1M Crop

Tracy Stengel
Dee Ann Warner.Photo byLenawee County Fairgrounds Facebook page

Dee Ann Warner was reported missing from her Tecumseh, Michigan home on April 25, 2021. Dee and her husband, Dale Warner, each hold a 50% ownership interest in their farming business.

A Successor Conservator is responsible for protecting Dee’s estate. Dale has been uncooperative, making it difficult for the Successor Conservator to fulfill his duties. Dale failed to comply with court orders to supply him with regular financial reports, thwarted his attempts to take inventory of Dee’s assets, and sold Dee’s assets without the Successor Conservator’s knowledge or consent.

Now, 1800 acres of soybeans and corn need to be harvested and there has been a dispute over who has the authority to do so. The Successor Conservator wants to hire a third party and Dale wants his son to harvest it. The yield is estimated to be worth between 1.5 and 1.6 million dollars.

The Successor Conservator’s lawyer was in Lenawee County Circuit Court on Monday seeking an order to suspend Dale’s authority to harvest the fall crops, terminate the employment of Mark Weisberg, and be allowed to hire new management for the farming and business operations.

Mark Weisberg used to be an accountant until he became a convicted felon due to embezzlement. Years ago, he worked for Dale and Dee until Dee fired him. When Dee went missing, Dale hired him back. On August 9, 2023, Lenawee County Probate Court found Dale and Mark guilty of civil contempt and they served a week in jail.

Dale was not in court Monday. He is currently serving a 93-day sentence in Lenawee County Jail for criminal contempt of court. Upon incarceration, he gave power of attorney to his son, Jaron Warner.

The Hon. Michael R. Olsaver listened to arguments from both sides. He emailed his ruling yesterday and suspended Dale’s authority to conduct farming and business operations. Instead, a third party will harvest the fall crops.

Judge Olsaver also ordered Mark Weisberg’s employment be terminated from any company that is a party to this action.

The Successor Conservator is now authorized to hire new management for the farming and business operations. He is required to provide all GPS/yield monitor data related to the harvest of crops to Dale or a representative on a daily basis. The Successor Conservator is also ordered to provide a weekly statement of receipts and disbursements related to the harvest.

No crops are to be stored in personal bins. Instead, they need to be delivered immediately to a single, third-party elevator. Dale will receive copies of all grain tickets.

This order will prevent history from repeating itself. Dale conducted the 2022 harvest himself without consulting the Successor Conservator.

Dee Ann Warner vanished the day after she planned to tell Dale she wanted a divorce and to sell their various companies. Her family and friends believe Dale is responsible for her disappearance.

Dee’s four adult children filed a petition for a declaration of death. They are waiting for the decision of Hon. Catherine A. Sala in Lenawee County Probate Court. If Judge Sala grants their petition, Dee’s family plans to immediately file a wrongful death suit against Dale Warner.

If you’d like the background of the disappearance of Dee Ann Warner, you can start here. Join the Justice for Dee Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Do you think Judge Olsaver made the right decision? I’d love to read your opinions in the comments.

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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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