Sheriff: Torso Of Missing Woman Found, Husband Sought As Slaying Suspect

Saturday, March 3rd 2007, 3:46 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) _ Investigators found what is believed to be the torso of a mother of two who disappeared last month and sought her husband as the suspect in her slaying, authorities said Saturday.

The husband was suicidal, his lawyer said.

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said the torso was found in the garage of the home shared by Tara and Stephen Grant in suburban Washington Township. Additional body parts were found Saturday at a public park near the home, he said.

Tara Grant, 34, has been missing since Feb. 9. Stephen Grant, 37, reported her missing five days later. Police say that on the day she went missing, the Grants argued over her frequent business trips abroad.

An arrest warrant was issued Saturday charging Grant with murder, disinterment and mutilation, Hackel said.

``He is the number one and at this time the only suspect in the murder of Tara Lynn Grant,'' Hackel said at a news conference earlier Saturday in Mount Clemens.

Throughout the search, Stephen Grant has maintained his innocence.

His lawyer, David Griem, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he spoke twice with his client earlier in the day and hoped to arrange for Grant to turn himself in.

``He was suicidal,'' Griem said. ``I spent some significant period of time begging him to meet with me and reminding him of all the reasons why he had to live: the foremost being a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old who love him very much.''

The Grants' two children, a 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, were staying with relatives on Friday.

Griem said his client last was in the Detroit area, but he did not know exactly where.

Hackel said Grant was detained Friday, then returned to his home, let investigators inside and later left. Hackel said investigators didn't have evidence at the time to hold him.

Hackel said that despite snow covering the ground, investigators found additional body parts Saturday in and around Stony Creek Metropark, near the Grant home. About 100 law enforcement personnel participated in the search, he said.

Hackel declined to release details on the discoveries. ``They were in various locations,'' he said.

Tara Grant worked as an operations manager for Washington Group International of Boise, Idaho, an engineering and construction firm with an office in the Detroit suburb of Troy. Her job regularly sent her to Puerto Rico.

``Our sympathy goes out to Tara's loved ones during this very painful time,'' the company said in a statement. ``We had hoped to celebrate Tara's return with them, not grieve her apparent death. If Tara is gone, we will have all lost a respected colleague, and many will have lost a friend.''

Of the charges being brought against Stephen Grant, open murder is punishable by up to life in prison without parole, while disinterment and mutilation carry penalties of up to 10 years behind bars.

Hackel said his office also was working with prosecutors to determine whether anyone misled investigators. He would not say who that might be.