|Stephen Grant . . . Torso Found in Grant House . . . On the Run . . . Captured Sunday Morning
||[Mar. 3rd, 2007|09:25 am]
Remember Scott Peterson, the murderer who killed his pregnant wife, Laci, and was convicted and sentenced to death in the California courts?
Well, meet Stephen Grant.
Body parts found in Grant home
March 3, 2007
BY JOE SWICKARD and DAN CORTEZ
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
New Update: 9:20 a.m. Today
Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel announced this morning that investigators found a torso in the Washington Township. home of Stephen and Tara Lynn Grant.
Previously reported: 6 a.m. Today
Macomb County sheriff's deputies armed with search warrants swept through Stephen Grant's home in Washington Township and his family's business in Mt. Clemens on Friday -- three weeks to the day after his wife, Tara Lynn, disappeared.
At a news conference Friday night, Sheriff Mark Hackel said authorities had enough evidence to convince a judge to approve the warrants in hopes of learning what happened to the 34-year-old international business executive and mother of two small children. The request for the warrants was made, he said, after "a lot of dialogue with the prosecutor's office."
Hackel repeatedly refused to say what led authorities to ask for the warrants Friday or what investigators were seeking.
"We'll be out there as long as it takes," he said. Two investigators used a flashlight to look through trash in the back of the machine shop called USG Babbitt, which makes bearings for the automotive industry and is owned by Stephen Grant's family. Meanwhile, others spent hours inside.
Near the Grant home, police stopped every car headed into the neighborhood and only let residents through.
Hackel said Grant was detained before the search warrants were executed but was not arrested.
Grant's lawyer, David Griem, denounced the search as a staged stunt without legal foundation.
"I cannot believe this search warrant will hold water, there is no legal basis for this search," Griem said. "Stephen Grant had already given investigators free run of the house on Feb. 14 when he reported his wife missing.
"In this state's legal system today, sadly, police can find a magistrate or judge who will sign anything police put in front of them," Griem said. "The timing of this is incredibly suspect. They waited until they could do it live on the 6 o'clock news."
Tara Lynn Grant's disappearance was not reported by her husband until Feb. 14 -- five days after he said she disappeared from their home. He told police they had quarreled upon her return from Puerto Rico, where she worked for Washington Group International, an engineering and consulting firm.
Stephen Grant -- who told the Free Press last week that authorities called him their No. 1 suspect, a claim authorities have denied -- said the two had words over Tara Lynn's decision to return to Puerto Rico on Sunday, rather than Monday, when she typically went back to the Caribbean. He said he last saw her getting into a dark sedan near the bottom of their driveway.
Stephen Grant, 37, said he waited to report his wife missing, believing she was angry with him and had returned to Puerto Rico early. He said he waited 24 hours after she missed a meeting in the Caribbean before calling authorities.
Since then, the woman's disappearance has generated headlines and broadcast reports, as the sheriff's department has tried to find any trace of her. Extensive canvasses of the area -- including some 150 searchers last Saturday combing through nearby Stony Creek Metro Park, an area where she ran and jogged -- have turned up nothing. There has also been no activity on her credit cards or cell phone since at least Feb. 9, the day her husband said he last saw her. Her last call was to the home after she returned from Puerto Rico.
The warrants were approved Friday by Magistrate Richard McLean of the 42-I District Court. Sheriff's deputies cordoned off the area, making it difficult to see authorities at work in and around the house in the Carriage Hills subdivision.
Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo acknowledged his office was consulted prior to the search.
Contact JOE SWICKARD at 313-222-8769 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writers Ben Schmitt, Naomi R. Patton and Amber Hunt contributed to this report.
Well, well, well, Mr. Grant. I wonder what that nanny who recently flew back to Germany has to say now, what with her stating that she was there the night Tara Lynn disappeared, and all the denial she gave as to Stephen's inability to commit such an act.
Oh, and guess what, it becomes itself to more of the bizarre.
On local television, just now, Stephen Grant's lawyer has reported that Stephen may have committed suicide.
So that pretty much can be taken as a guilty plea? If his lawyer is correct in his assumption from his last conversation with Stephen, then I guess we'll never really know what happened.
*UPDATE EARLY SUNDAY, MARCH 4th, 2007*
Well, now we have ourselves a multiple-month marathon of Court TV coverage.
They caught Stephen Grant this morning in northern Michigan.
Link to Article
Police Arrest Husband Accused of Murdering and Dismembering Tara Grant
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. —
Police arrested a man early Sunday wanted in connection with the dismembering death of his wife, FOX News has learned.
Stephen Grant was arrested early Sunday morning in Emmet County, Mich., after a statewide manhunt. The county is near the tip of the state's Lower Peninsula, about 300 miles from his home in Washington Township in suburban Detroit.
Police launched the search Saturday after discovering what they believe to be Tara Lynn Grant's dismembered torso in the garage of the couple's house.
An arrest warrant was issued Saturday charging Grant with murder, disinterment and mutilation. The torso and body parts found in various places in a nearby park had yet to be positively identified as of late Saturday, but Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said he was sure they were Tara Grant's.
"He is the number one, and at this time the only suspect in the murder of Tara Lynn Grant," Hackel said.
Tara Grant was last was seen Feb. 9, and Stephen Grant reported her missing five days later. Police say the day the 34-year-old businesswoman went missing, the Grants argued over her frequent business trips abroad. Throughout the search for his wife, Stephen Grant has maintained his innocence.
"We have located his vehicle," said Sheriff Pete Wallin before the arrest. "We're doing an intensive search with assistance from the Coast Guard and our emergency response team. We've notified people in the area."
State police said late Saturday that authorities were closing in on Grant at a cabin at Wilderness State Park, located near the Mackinac Bridge linking Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas.
A truck Grant was believed to have driven from his home 30 miles north of Detroit was found Saturday night near Carp Lake, just west of the state park.
Grant, 37, went missing hours before police found the torso in the garage of his home. Hackel said Grant fled the area in a friend's pickup truck shortly after allowing deputies inside his house to execute a search warrant.
Police obtained a warrant to search the home after persuading a judge that there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed there. Hackel told reporters Saturday evening that investigators "did find several items we suspect were used in the commission of this crime," but added, "By no means did we expect to uncover what we did in the home."
About 100 law enforcement personnel looked for other evidence and additional body parts Saturday near the Grants' home and in nearby Stony Creek Metropark. The search was suspended at nightfall and resumed Sunday morning, Hackel said.
Grant's lawyer, David Griem, said Saturday he had spoken twice that day with his client and that he feared Grant was suicidal.
Tara Grant was an operations manager for Boise, Idaho-based Washington Group International, an engineering and construction firm with an office in the Detroit suburb of Troy. Her job regularly sent her to Puerto Rico.
If convicted of open murder, Grant could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This particular quote from another article, given to the Detroit News by Stephen Grant, uh, really draws my attention.
Hours before police executed a warrant to search his house for clues as to his wife's disappearance, Stephen Grant told a newspaper he understood why people suspected him of wrongdoing but said he was innocent.
"That's what I would think when I watched cases like this," he told The Detroit News on Friday. "When Laci Peterson came up missing (in 2002), I was sure her husband (Scott) did it. But now I'm on the other side of it."
Huh. Sounds like a little sympathy for the devil.
Link to Article
What Stephen Grant said
Compiled by Macomb Daily Staff
Over the past three weeks, accused wife killer Stephen Grant has given numerous interviews to local newspaper and television news reporters.
In his almost unprecedented access to the media -- he provided his cell phone number to reporters -- Grant's face and words about his possible role in his wife's disappearance have become familiar to the public.
Here are some of the things he has said:
* "They told me I am the No. 1 suspect; the husband always is. I have nothing to do with it. I miss her with everything I have."
* "The last time I saw (Tara), she was getting into a car and backing out the driveway, that's it."
* "I pray she's with some guy than any of the other options."
* "I've had nothing to do with her disappearance. That night the last time I saw her she started getting in the car and backing down the driveway -- that's it. That's all I care about -- just find Tara."
* "I think about what if something happened and I just can't get further with that thought. Yeah, it's been explained to me that as time goes on what happens to the chance that she's going to come back or call, but I just don't want to think that."
* "When Alicia (Standerfer) tells the public she's lost all faith in me or whatever, I worry about that getting back to the kids. I don't worry about all the suspicion on me, but I wish some people would think about them."
* "I have this fear that one of the students is going to come up to my children and say, 'your daddy did something terrible to your mommy.'"
And then there's more of a gigantic 1.5 hour interview he gave the Detroit News on Friday.
Link to Article
Stephen Grant: 'I was the perfect mom -- not Tara'
George Hunter / The Detroit News
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP -- Stephen Grant resented the time his wife Tara spent away from home on business, and he often engaged in power struggles with her over "who was boss" and "who was going to run the household," he said.
In his last known interview Friday afternoon -- just hours before the Macomb County Sheriff's Office descended on his home with a search warrant -- Stephen Grant talked to The Detroit News about his growing frustration with his marriage.
Police were searching for Grant today after finding what they said were Tara Grant's body parts in the couple's garage and scattered at Stony Creek Metropark in northern Macomb County.
In a wide-ranging, hour-and-a-half interview with The News on Friday, Stephen Grant said he was offended because Tara treated him like a "valet," and he said she was a bad mother because she didn't spend enough time with their two young children.
During Friday's interview, Grant spoke in an animated voice about feeling disjointed, and how his life was "surreal like I'm walking around in a dream."
"I was the perfect mom -- not Tara."
At one point, Grant extolled his wife for being a "good mother." But a few minutes later, he called her a "bad mother," who never had time for her children.
"I was a better mom than Tara was. There's no other way to put it. I was the mom in the house -- she was gone all the time. If the kids needed someone to take them to swimming, or school, or soccer practice, I took them."
Tara Grant worked for Washington Group International, an Idaho-based construction company. She was a systems manager, whose job often took her overseas.
Grant's sister, Alicia Standerfer, told The News last week that Tara Grant was a loving mother who would fly home often to attend her children's school functions.
But Stephen Grant said his wife never came home for her children's activities.
"Some of her family has said in the media how much she loved her kids, and how she would try to fly back in order to attend their functions," he said. "But that's not true. I can't recall one time when she did that.
"To be honest, as weird as it sounds for me to say this, I was the perfect mom -- not Tara."
Grant said he often struggled with his wife over "trying to show who's boss, and who's going to run the household. It didn't need to be that way."
"I gave up."
Grant said the last time he saw his wife the night of Feb. 9, she walked out of their attached garage and got into a dark-colored car.
"All I could do was close the garage door," he said. "I was done I was tired of bickering about the travel, and I gave up."
Hours after Grant made that statement, investigators found his wife's torso in the garage.
Grant said he quarreled with his wife for several hours Feb. 9, after she told him she planned to fly back to Puerto Rico on business a day earlier than planned.
Tara Grant returned home from her company's Puerto Rican office that night, which was a Friday, and was originally scheduled to fly back Monday morning..
But those plans changed, Stephen Grant said -- "and that's when I got upset."
Despite the frequent bickering, Grant said he never got violent. "It was the opposite -- when she would yell, I'd get quiet," he said.
"In a lot of households, when there's an argument, that means fists are involved," Grant said. "But Tara and I never did that. It wouldn't come close to happening. I wouldn't do it."
But Grant said the two parted on bad terms after their fight.
"She left the house angry," Grant said. "My biggest concern was that I was going to have to explain to the kids the next day why their mother wasn't going to be there like she said she would.
"Before she left, the last words she said to me were, 'don't forget to take my truck in on Monday' (for repairs)," he said. "That really took the wind out of my sails. She was telling me that's all I was; it was like, 'You be the valet and take my car in.'"
After the argument, which Grant said took place in the couple's bedroom, he said his wife went downstairs to the kitchen. He said he heard her have a telephone conversation with someone, saying, "I'll be right out."
"I watched her leave through the garage and get into a dark car," Grant said. "That's the last time I saw her."
A surprise visit
Stephen Grant met Tara Destrampe while she was a student at Michigan State University. He had recently dropped out of school to take a job with former state Sen. Jack Faxon, D-Farmington Hills.
Grant said his wife's appearance changed from when he first met her.
"Tara looked completely different when we met," he said. "She was beautiful it's hard to explain she just looked a lot different. She had the big hair, and it was a different look."
Stephen and Tara stayed platonic friends for a few months after they met -- but not for lack of trying on his part.
"I asked her out, and she turned me down," he said. "She said she kind of had a boyfriend from up north where she was from. I said, 'that's like kind of being pregnant -- either he's your boyfriend or not.' But I respected that, and we were just friends at first."
When Tara's grandmother passed away later that year, she flew to her hometown of Escanaba for the funeral. Before the service started, Tara's family got a surprise visitor: Stephen Grant.
"I felt the right thing to do was to come up and pay my respects to her grandmother," Grant said. "So I drove up. It took all day. I called her and told her I was right there, and she said, 'what?' She was really surprised."
Tara showed up to meet Grant with her boyfriend. "It was awkward," Grant said. "But it wasn't terrible."
He said he went to dinner with the family, "but I felt really out of place. So I drove back to Lansing. The next day, Tara called me and told me she was in love with me."
Early years of marriage
The couple dated for a few months before Tara moved into Grant's Okemos apartment.
"I couldn't find another political job," Grant said. "That was right after 1994, the year the Democrats lost their shirts, and there were a lot of out-of-work Democrats. So I moved down here to work for my dad."
Grant's father owns a tool and die shop in Mount Clemens. Police also searched the shop early Saturday morning for clues, hours after searching Grant's home.
Stephen and Tara married in September 1996. Times were tough at first, he said.
"The economy wasn't so good, and it was hard to find a job," Grant said. "She finally got a temporary job at Morrison Knudsen (which eventually was acquired by the Washington Group.)"
In November, 2000, Tara gave birth to a daughter. Then, in November 2002, she had a son.
"Our son was a surprise," Grant said. "Tara had gotten what she thought was a (birth control) shot, but they gave her a flu shot instead. It was a surprise. At first it was tough, because we weren't ready for that mentally -- we thought it was going to be just one kid. But then he was born, and he was as perfect as his sister was."
"I learned to deal with it"
As Grant's wife climbed the corporate ladder, he said he saw less and less of her.
"She's been traveling all over the world for four years," he said. "It became difficult, but I learned to deal with it.
"I've heard comments in the media from people who said Tara must have met with foul play because she would never have left her babies like that," he said. "But this is the same person who was gone five days a week. Yes, she was there on weekends, but it wasn't out of the ordinary for her to come in, kiss the babies, and then leave again."
The Detroit News published a series of e-mails two weeks ago in which Grant expressed his frustration about his wife's frequent business trips to an ex-girlfriend
In the e-mails, Grant also seemingly flirted with his ex-girlfriend, telling her he wanted to see her naked and that he wanted her to give him a sponge bath.
He also wrote that he thought his wife was having an affair with a co-worker -- a man he referred to as "the old geezer."
Grant said he was joking when he wrote the emails.
"I did say 'I want to see you naked,' but that's because I'm a guy," Grant said. "Men always want to see women naked.
"Those were private emails sent jokingly to an old friend," Grant said. "There are a lot of things people say just kidding around that they wouldn't want to see on the front page of the newspaper."
On Friday -- before police named Grant as a suspect in the case of his wife's disappearance -- Grant said he understood why people thought he killed her.
"That's what I would think when I watched cases like this," he said. "When Laci Peterson came up missing (in 2002), I was sure her husband (Scott) did it. But now I'm on the other side of it.
"I know people think I had something to do with why Tara is missing," Grant said. "But I didn't do it."
You can reach George Hunter at (586) 468-7396 or email@example.com.
Of course you didn't do it, Stephen Grant. It was a political plot to frame you because you were a good and decent American. I'm sure the 'old geezer' at Tara's work did this and tried to frame you by leaving her torso in your garage. Maybe it was your nanny who did it. I know, it was aliens. Or, she just dropped dead, and you didn't know what to do. There's plenty of ideas, of course, and I'll bet they'll all be explored. Sure, you were the better mom, Stephen. I tell all my female friends I'd like to see them naked.