MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. — A plumber could be formally charged Monday in the death of a 50-year-old Macomb County woman.
Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said David Wright, 37, is believed to have slit Marilou Johnson’s throat eleven days ago in the driveway of her home — then stole diamonds belonging to the woman.
The sheriff said Wright told authorities he dumped Johnson’s body in Cass Lake in neighboring Oakland County. A search of the lake is to begin Monday morning.
Wright, of Richmond, is named in a warrant charging him with open murder, kidnapping and larceny in a building. Hackel said there are no other suspects in Johnson’s death.
Marilou Johnson has been missing since June 14.
Police have confirmed he is not any relation to Johnson or Johnson’s boyfriend’s Roger Blanchard.
Stay with Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.com for developing news.
Macomb County Sheriff’s department detectives searched a Washington Township home Friday looking for clues to help in the investigation into a mother.
“We have conducted a more extensive, thorough search of the home and the property around it,” Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said. “Nothing was uncovered that shows any foul play was involved or that she is still on the property.”
Watch Macomb County Sheriff, Mark Hackel’s press conference, Friday on Johnson’s investigation. Johnson press conference
Canine units and officers searched the home at 5880 West Road in Washington Township for several hours.
The home is owned by Johnson’s 71-year-old boyfriend, Roger Blanchard.
To see pictures of inside the home, click here.
Hackel said they have received full cooperation from Blanchard and his family. “This search was consensual, therefore, no search warrant was needed,” Hackel said.
Police in Macomb County searched financial records of Blanchard on Thursday.
Johnson has three children, ages 15, 16 and 21, that lived in the home with her, and they said they have not seen or heard from her since then.
“If she was going to go anywhere, she would’ve at least let me and my brother know,” her son, Jason Johnson, told Local 4.
The three children are no longer living in the Washington Township home. They are now living with another child of Johnson’s, who is 28 years old, and is from another relationship.
On Thursday, Hackel said they have confirmed she did not leave the country.
“We were talking to people from federal agency that deals with immigration customs enforcement to make a determination, could she have left the country? We reached conclusive response from them that shows she has not left the country. This obviously helps us with the investigation which now focuses us on domestic flights, if she is still alive,” Hackel said.
Police said records show she has not used her cell phone or her credit cards.
The last phone call she made was to family in the Philippines, according to Hackel.
The Macomb County Sheriff’s Department detectives have interviewed Blanchard, her children and his five adult children.
“What concerns us is that there’s nothing that would make us believe that she would just leave and the suspicious nature of her being gone without talking to anyone,” Hackel said.
Police have ordered the financial records from Blanchard and his business in hopes of finding some clues as to her whereabouts.
So far, there is no evidence in any of those records that show foul play or lead police to believe Blanchard or his family know where she may be, according to police.
Document: Couple Had Rocky Relationship
Local 4 has obtained information that shows the relationship between Blanchard and Johnson was not always good.
Local 4 has learned Johnson filed a police report against Blanchard’s children last year, citing the children verbally threatened her, assaulted her and refused to let her pick up her Cadillac that Blanchard purchased for her. She also said his children changed the locks on the home and withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from their joint account.
A week later, Blanchard filed a personal protection order against Johnson, citing he felt threatened and harassed by Johnson and her sons.
He said he feared for his safety and she repeatedly called him to gain access into the estate, according to the PPO.
A judge denied the request due to insufficient cause to grant the order.
Johnson’s complaint was also dismissed months after she filed the complaint.
Blanchard also hired an off-duty police officer for protection.
Who is Roger Blanchard ?
According to public records, Roger Blanchard made his fortune building a company called ABR Manufacturing. It makes gears for the aerospace industry. Blanchard sold the company in 2000. Friends and former employees of Blanchard described him as decent, kind and generous. Who Is Blanchard? Johnson is Asian, weighs 120 pounds, and is just more than 5 feet tall. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 586-307-9358.
Stay with Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.com for further developments.