Tecumseh, MI

Solving Dee Ann Warner's Case: Prosecutor Working Every Day

Tracy Stengel
Photo byParker Hardy

It’s been almost two and a half years since Dee Ann Warner, 52, was reported missing from her Tecumseh, Michigan farm on April 25, 2021. Her case has made national headlines including being featured on Investigation Discovery’s series “Disappeared” in the episode entitled Vanished in the Heartland and the Dateline: Missing in America podcast.

Dee disappeared the morning after she planned to tell her husband, Dale Warner, she wanted a divorce and to sell their various businesses. To shield their nine-year-old daughter from a potentially heated argument, Dee arranged for a friend to pick her up for a sleepover. The next morning when Dee’s adult daughter and her family came over for their usual Sunday morning breakfast, Dee was nowhere to be found.

Dee vanished without a vehicle or using a bank card. Hundreds of dollars were left in her desk. No trace of her showed up on security cameras around her home and on-site office.

Dale admitted they had argued the night before, but it ended with him giving her a massage on the living room floor. When she fell asleep, he lifted her onto the couch. He claimed she was snoring on the couch when he left for work the next morning.

Later in the day, Dale was in possession of Dee’s large, diamond wedding ring estimated to be worth about $50,000. Allegedly, he found it on his desk, suggesting Dee left it there to send him a message she had left him.

Dale has not made an effort to look for Dee. Yet, throughout their marriage he kept close tabs on her. Friends and family members claim Dale often followed Dee when she went out, left recording devices in her office to hear conversations, and secretly put tracking device on her car.

Billy Little, Jr., nationally-recognized investigative attorney began working the case in March 2022 pro bono. After conducting over a hundred interviews and analyzing piles of documents, Little turned over his findings to the authorities. He believes there is enough evidence to arrest Dale for murder.

After Dee’s disappearance, Dale put Dee’s successful trucking business under a similar name and then sold it, used Dee’s electronic signature to take out a small business loan, and diverted money from her estate.

On August 9, 2023, Dale and Mark Weisberg were taken into custody of Lenawee County Jail for contempt of court. Dale and Mark repeatedly defied court orders to disclose financial information to Dee’s Successor Conservator whose job it is to protect her estate in her absence. They each were incarcerated for a week.

Mark Weisberg used to be an accountant until he was convicted of embezzlement. Years ago, he worked for Dale and Dee until Dee fired him. Shortly after Dee went missing, Dale hired him back.

On September 14, 2023, Dale was convicted of criminal contempt of court and is currently serving a 93-day sentence for selling assets of Dee’s estate without the Successor Conservator’s knowledge or consent.

Meanwhile, Dee’s friends, family, and community are are still waiting for Lenawee County Prosecutor to issue a warrant for Dale’s arrest and charge him with Dee’s murder.

Detective Sgt. Drewyor of Michigan State Police is the lead detective on Dee’s case. On August 16, 2023, he told Dale’s lawyer while under oath, “Dee Warner is dead, sir.” When questioned by Dee’s guardian ad litem, Michael McFarland, Drewyor said, “Are you asking if there is a suspect for her murder? Yes. Dale Warner.”

Jacqueline Wyse, Lenawee County Prosecutor, is well aware the community wants to see an arrest of the person or persons involved in Dee’s disappearance. “Things are moving forward. MSP [Michigan State Police] is still investigating. It’s an ongoing investigation. They are gathering more information and we’re still going through information, so it’s definitely moving forward every single day. I understand everyone’s concern. I can tell you, every day, we’re working on the case,” Wyse told me.

Gregg Hardy, Dee’s brother, understands the case is a complicated one, but he is no stranger to a huge workload. In July, his farm was vandalized. Someone cut the netting off 65 straw bales in his field.

Soon after, his office and barn housing his prize-winning Holstein’s went up in flames. The cause of the fire is unknown. Authorities have ruled out everything but arson.

“I have triple the staff I used to have. I’ve got a big project ahead of me in order to rebuild. That’s what business people do when they get overloaded with a particular task. I didn’t plan on this fire and Jacqueline Wyse didn’t plan on this murder, but we both have a job to do. I would like to see her put into action all the resources available to her.”

Gregg said there was a plaque hanging in his office before it was ruined by the fire. It read, “A human being is capable of doing anything if it has to and not very damn much if it doesn’t have to.”

The lack of action by the prosecutor has Gregg frustrated. “I don’t want to hear how big the file is or how much work is involved. It’s just like what I’ve done after my fire. I put together a team and I’m going to get it done right. And by the way, some of those team members are way better than me. That’s the secret — always get someone better than yourself,” Gregg said.

The person or persons who were involved in Dee’s disappearance pose a threat to the community. If you’d like to voice your concerns to Prosecutor Jacqueline Wyse, you can reach her at (517) 264–4640 or email her at lencopa@lenawee.mi.us.

For background information on Dee’s disappearance, you can start here. Join the Justice for Dee Facebook page for all the latest 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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