Theresa Lockhart, 44, has been missing since May 20, officially. The Michigan teacher had called in sick to work on Monday, May 15, and again on Tuesday and Wednesday of that same week. On Thursday and Friday, Lockhart didn’t show up to work — but she didn’t call in sick, either, which was strange to Rusty Stitt, the superintendent of Schoolcraft Community Schools.
On Saturday, a concerned Mr. Stitt drove to Lockhart’s home in Portage, Michigan, where he spoke with her husband, Christopher Lockhart. Mr. Lockhart said that his wife wasn’t home and didn’t seem very concerned with her whereabouts.
Stitt decided to call police that same day and a missing person’s case was filed. Since that time, no one has heard from Mrs. Lockhart.
Anyone with information on Theresa Lockhart’s whereabouts is asked to call the Portage Department of Public Safety at (269) 329-4567.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Christopher Lockhart Has Been Named a ‘Person of Interest’
Mr. Lockhart has been named a person of interest in the case of his missing wife. Police say that he has been uncooperative through much of this process. For example, Mr. Lockhart refused to let police into the home that he shared with Theresa.
“He hasn’t cooperated pretty much from the beginning — very little, if any,” says Senior Deputy Chief John Blue with the Portage Department of Public Safety.
“Based on the information and lack of communication with the spouse … [it] makes us suspect a homicide and the spouse is a person of interest in that,” Blue added.
Mr. Lockhart previously said that authorities are trying to “embarrass him.”
“I think the police just don’t have anything more right now and I guess they’re trying to shake some trees and see what falls out. It’s an attempt to embarrass me and put pressure on me,” he told 24 Hour News 8.
Mr. Lockhart has not been arrested in connection with his wife’s disappearance.
Lockhart has had a few run-ins with the law in his life.
“Court records show that in 1989 and again in 1990, Lockhart was arrested in South Carolina on “peeping tom” charges. He apparently served three months in jail for the latter incident. He also had a string of arrests between 1990 and 1991 for “unlawful use of a telephone,” reports Fox 17.
2. Neighbors Claim They Heard Mr. Lockhart Threaten to Kill His Wife Last Year
Neighbors of the Lockharts say that the couple used to fight quite a bit. In fact, some residents admitted to tape recording the fights that Mr. and Mrs. Lockhart had. In one of those audio recordings, a neighbor claims that Mr. Lockhart can be heard threatening his wife. The neighbor, who remained anonymous, said that Mr. Lockhart shouted, “I’ll f***ing kill you,” according to WOOD TV. That particular recording was obtained about a year ago.
Moreover, concerns over Mr. Lockhart’s attitude about his wife’s disappearance have grown over the past few weeks.
“He wasn’t very forthcoming with information. To be truthful, he seemed rather lackadaisical in his attitude … definitely not the attitude of a loving husband whose wife is missing,” Theresa’s sister, Joan Mullowney, told the Huffington Post last week.
3. Mr. Lockhart Thinks His Wife Is Seeking Mental Help
Mr. Lockhart has been fairly nonchalant about his missing wife. He spoke to the media earlier this month and said that he believes that his wife went away to “get herself some help.” Mr. Lockhart also revealed that he hired a lawyer and that had been advised to not answer any questions from detectives working on the case.
“When she left I assumed she was going to get herself some help. That’s why I wasn’t really too worried about it at that point in time because I want to keep her issues private… I basically told them the same story I’m telling you, that she up and left. She’s done this before. I didn’t think she had a job to go back to,” Mr. Lockhart told 24 Hour News 8.
As for claims that he wouldn’t allow police to search his home, he said that he didn’t recall being asked such a thing.
“I don’t recall in any way that they asked if they could come in [to our house] and take a look around. That was never asked of me,” Mr. Lockhart claimed. He went on to say that he hired a lawyer.
“It was at that point after talking to that detective that it was like, OK, we’re going to handle everything through a lawyer. I’m not acting unusual. I’m going to and from work. I’m carrying on normally around here as best I can. The initial officer came in the doorway and I let him in… I gave them the ability to contact her friends and her family but other than that I don’t see that there’s any other way I can help the investigation. Her car was found and returned. It’s in good working order… I’m assuming if something looked like [something] had happened there, I’d assume they would’ve kept the car,” Mr. Lockhart stated.
“I’m terribly worried about her, I don’t know where she’s at… I’m holding out hope that, you know, nothing has gone wrong. There’s no evidence right now to indicate anything is wrong… Did something bad happen to her? Yeah, that’s absolutely possible. But could she also have picked up and left and, you know, drove off and decided I’m going to start a new life somewhere with somebody else or did she check herself into a hospital? It’s like all these other avenues are distinct possibilities,” Mr. Lockhart also said.
4. Theresa Lockhart Was Last Seen on May 18
Lockhart was seen on Thursday, May 18, leaving the gym. Her car was found, apparently abandoned, near a Park and Ride not far from her home.
“We conducted aerial searches, K9 searches and ground searches, which we are still doing,” Senior Chief Deputy John Blue of the Portage Police Department told the Huffington Post.
5. Police Obtained a Search Warrant & Spent Several Hours Inside the Lockhart’s Home on June 7
According to a news release, the Kalamazoo Metro SWAT Team and the Michigan State Police are both involved in the case. A search warrant to enter the Lockhart’s home was obtained on June 7. Police were at the home for hours, though it’s unclear what they may have uncovered, if anything.
“Our priority from the start is to locate Theresa. We have to rule everything out first, that she’s not at another location or in another country or anything like that. As the time progresses, it affirms up more to the fact that she’s deceased and we’re looking at all the different elements with regards to if it’s a possible homicide,” Sgt. Blue told People Magazine.
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