Did a mother of three take her life by drowning herself in an icy lake, or could one of her own relatives have wanted her dead?
JoAnn Matouk Romain’s family had been feuding over the family’s inheritance for 30 years. Then, during the snowy winter of 2009-2010, it appears the feud may have taken a darker turn. According to Michelle, JoAnn’s daughter, after her mother receives a threatening phone call from one of her family members, she grows increasingly anxious and believes people are following her. JoAnn also thinks her cell phone is tapped, her mail is being searched, and that people are entering her home. She goes so far as to change the locks on all the doors. Then, on the bitter cold night of January 12, 2010, JoAnn disappears after attending a prayer service at St. Paul’s Catholic Church across the street from Lake St. Clair.
At 9:30pm, a police officer arrives at JoAnn’s home to tell her children that her car has been found abandoned in the church parking lot with her purse locked inside. Police say that small footprints led to the lakeshore and they assume that JoAnn climbed down a steep, icy rock embankment in her high-heel boots, and slid over two seawalls into the freezing lake to commit suicide. The Coast Guard searches that night, and for days after, but JoAnn’s body is nowhere to be found.
One witness at the service sees JoAnn leave the church around 7:20pm. Another witness believes she hears JoAnn’s car alarm going off but doesn’t see anyone around the car. Yet another witness, the last to leave the church, says that JoAnn’s car was not in the lot when she left. What happened to JoAnn Romain when she left the church that night remains a mystery.
Then two months later, fishermen find JoAnn’s body in the Detroit River, 30 miles downstream from the church. Cause of death is determined to be drowning. The manner of death is ruled “undetermined.”
JoAnn’s unexplained death has triggered controversy and public intrigue, though no criminal charges have ever been filed. JoAnn’s children hire a team of investigators and are passionate that the suicide theory doesn’t make sense. “It’s absurd,” says her daughter, Michelle, “nobody is going to jump into a shallow lake of freezing water in the dead of winter. Especially not my mom.” Michelle, along with her sister, Kellie, and brother, Michael, have gathered a list of compelling clues and extensive expert testimony to prove their mother was murdered.
i agree with bev
My money is on her cousin, Tim.
Her cousin is or was a cop, and he probably had friends in that department that were investigating the case.
I agree it was the cousin Tim, IMO, there was another cop they interviewed that looked nervous during the interview. Also it seems the police were determined to not solve this case.
Why isn’t anyone talking about the footprints in the snow? She was wearing high heels, that shoe would make a very distinguished print in the snow. There would be a deep hole with each step!
Investigate the police department.
I just watched this episode, and some things stood out to me. Her daughter describes how they found her mother’s body. All of the pockets were zipped up, and the main zipper was zipped up to her neck. Also, her keys were found in her pocket… but her cell phone and rosary were missing. If the vehicle left the scene, the keys had to have been used to bring the vehicle back. We can determine that her body was not in the water prior to that, as the keys had to have been placed into her pocket (either by her or an assailant) just after the vehicle returned.
– How much gas was bought at the station?
– What’s the vehicle’s MPG?
– How much gas was in the tank when it was found? (this determines how far it traveled after initially leaving the church and then returning)
– Did any of the investigating officers have any dealings with, friends of, or acquaintances of…JoAnn’s extended (and estranged) family?
Just some thoughts to ponder. Hope this helps.
Just finished this episode & the very crucial point I came across is this “keys” part. Since at the time they discovered her body and found keys inside her zipper locked up, then how that “person” would have returned back the vehicle to that spot without the keys & even if that person had returned without the keys he/she must have opened up from the bottom to start the ignition, which ofcourse police didn’t find that. So, suicide is a big NO for me, really. It has to be a murder. I wish her family gets the justice soon.
You all made excellent points. I too kept thinking how were her keys for her car in her pockets. Then I thought about I have an Acura if you leave it running it’ll stay running the keys could’ve been in her pocket and he never turned the car off and just kept driving I noticed because I left my car running one day at the gas station went in left them on the counter drove home and realized I couldn’t start my car back up. Doesn’t seem like any of the brothers associates would go that far for money owed, but that first cousin I have my doubts about him.
Why did her brother have the rosary at the end of the show?
He said she gave it to him (prior to her death).
I do not believe it was a suicide, BUT I also don’t believe it was an elaborately-planned murder.
I think that JoAnn was spooked walking from the church to her car and ran toward the water to escape. At that point she either slipped and hit her head or succumbed to hypothermia. After all, I haven’t seen any solid evidence that her car was in the parking lot to begin with. Maybe she parked on the side of the road because she was late to the service or it was just easier. If JoAnn was acting paranoid in the months prior to this incidence, her anxiety was probably on high alert. ANYTHING could have set her off— a homeless person approaching the church, a stranger in the darkness, or simply a shadow that looked like a figure. It could have also been a mugging gone wrong (and of course a mugger’s not going to come forward as a witness)
And JUST because she usually carried her purse with her doesn’t mean she did that night. Maybe she had a lot on her mind, or was just wanted to get in and out of the prayer service quickly. Either way, it’s totally possible that she left her purse in the car and just had her keys in her pocket. Meaning the incident fully could have happened before she ever reached her car.
Okay—I don’t believe it was a suicide. BUT I also don’t believe it was an elaborately planned murder.
I believe she was scared by something that happened after she left the prayer service and she ran to the water, where she either slipped and hit her head or developed hypothermia (which can make you think irrationally). There are so many possibilities—a homeless person could have approached her, a mugging gone wrong, or she simply saw someone (or thought she saw someone) in the darkness. Think about it—she’s been acting paranoid for months. If her anxiety is on high alert, surely anything could have set her off.
And just because she usually carried her purse with her, doesn’t mean that she did in this instance. Maybe she had a lot on her mind, and just wanted to stop in quickly at the church for the service. She could have left her purse in the car, and just had her keys in her pocket. I also don’t know what evidence we have that she parked in the parking lot in the first place. Maybe she just parked on the side of the road to begin with. Meaning, she got spooked while walking from the church to her car.
JoAnne at some point conveyed to someone that she felt she was being followed and her mail being tampered with and that most importantly her phone was being tapped (something police are capable of doing legally or illegally )low and behold who’s a cop…….who was she arguing with on the phone…….who did she tell her daughter to look to if anything happened to her…….wich tells me she was threatened over the phone by the law enforcement cousin . Your mother already told you everything you needed to know before it even happened ……..listen to her own words ……..the cousin is responsible and it also has something to do with the brother cause that’s who the cousin was getting into trouble somehow……….her words
VAISHNAVI S YADAV
Hey,her daughter mentioned out of all her belongings only her phone and her rosary was missing.But later Joanna’s brother has the rosary and he tells that she gave him.
HOWS THIS POSSIBLE
Rosaries are a common item. It’s very likely a different rosary.
Something about the guy at the gas station makes me think he’s the abductor
Did she fill her car gas tank? If so how much was used? That would give an idea of distance driven.
Did she fill the tank of her car? If so how much gas was used? That would give you an idea of distance driven.
They never thought to check cameras?
Can we talk about her she was meant to have her precious rosary beads on her the night she disappeared, yet a few mins before the end of the episode her brother had then and says she gave them to him…..and he also says “she may have been killed because of me by people I owed money too, I’m sorry and I wish it was me” ???? Guilty conscious in my opinion!! I feel like he knows more!
It would be interesting to investigate if he really gave her that rosary before his death, if he has any evidence that confirms it and also, analyze the rosary itself, it may be the one he was wearing the same day he disappeared.
It is very relevant how he says about the rosary at the last minute, how he shows it and how he expresses that she told him to have faith.
How can the vehicle (Lexus) have been moved if she was found with the keys in her jacket pocket?
Lady said when she walked out no vehicles to be seen then the vehicle returns even though JoAnn had the vehicle keys in the jacket pocket? Someone must of either had a second spare key or…
Très bonne analyse. Cela est même super louche
Great point. Did they every confirm her car was actually in the parking lot in the first place? It seems possible to me that she could have just parked out on the street in the first place because she was in a rush to get to the prayer service, or she was late or something.
Think about it even if it was a suicide when she would be walking down the ice she must have slipped as she was wearing high heels and maybe knocked her head and there just have been a bit of blood. I definitely think it’s not a suicide, it’s probably her brother or her cousin, or maybe both working together, and the police is trying to cover it up, like someone said she didn’t try to call the police as she thought that they maybe work with her murderer. ‘If anything happens to me talk to Tim’ explains it all. This was not a suicide.
The police officers whom tried to call this a suicide needs to be investigated closer. Where they connected with either the cousin of hers or herself somehow? This obviously doesn’t look anything like suicide. Just no indicator for it but that’s what they’re holding on to. Why?
I agree with you completely! A pair of keys magically appeared at the police station and no one knows who brought them in. The police said it was suicide but her car was moved from and then back to the church. Her bag was ripped and her daughter said it wasn’t like that.
JhAn walked out 35 miles so the reason for that is because sombody may have grabbed her from her car put her back in the car then drove off then took her 35 miles away from we’re they made it look like a suicide the water was frozen so she couldn’t have done anything and also she had heels on and it was snowing so she could’ve been abducted then drowned then took her to the place they found her body and her phone was gone so they couldn’t track her and her and her cousin were fighting on the phone she told one of her kids that is anything happens suspect Tim she may have been hung the her body may have Tookn
Why would they take the car back and then placed keys in her jacket pocket? Maybe police was covering for her cousin and that s why they right away rules as suicide. May she rest in peace
Yes! The keys do not make sense. Either something is fishy, someone took her somewhere and had someone else pick them up when they drove the car back and went back to her and then placed the keys in the pocket, or someone killed her that had access to a second set of keys.
At first, John was suspicious to me the way he talked. It’s like he knew something. Then the more suspicious Tim appeared. He looked nervous in the interview. Couldn’t sit sill and had micro motion. And he was a cop! The way the police investigated this case was a joke. Should ask if those police officers and Tim were good friends. They all knew and tried to hide him. This explained why JoAnn didn’t ask the police for help but called the security when she felt she was followed. And who could tap her phone as she claimed that happened?!
HE HAD THE ROSARY Too!?? they said the two things not found in her pockets was a rosary and a cell phone
When someone has driven the car shouldn‘t there be video recordings? I mean there are several cameras and this is a big area with lot of opportunities Idk.
I think that Tim Matouk is definitely involved in the murder of JoAnn for these reasons:
-JoAnne openly said that “if something happens to me, go talk with Tim”
-There are a lot of things that make me think that police is involved in the cover-up of the case, and Tim was a police officer
-When Tim said that he called Joanne in 2009 his story didn’t matched the one of JoAnne’s daughter
Also the brother is very suspicious and we don’t know why but he thinks that 2 people were involved (him and Tim) and that the killer didn’t want to kill JoAnne (how did he know this?)
I definitely agree that it was between the brother and Tim. Tim clearly has ties with police and are willing to lie on behalf of him. To assume it was a suicide off the bat is highly suspicious. Is it to late to get dna off the car?
There’s too many obvious unknowns with this and the daughter (or whoever the prosecution was) was absolutely correct in taking law enforcement to court over it. From the keys-in-the-jacket conundrum to the gas difference that wasn’t mentioned (was it?); there’s just too much going on in this case that remains almost intentionally overlooked, which I suspect was by design. I personally found the brother to be very detached about all this but also thought it strange how her son wasn’t involved in the interviews or case. The whole situation really is disturbing, but something in me says none of it has to do with one of the brother’s business deals going South. It feels like it’s something completely unrelated to that…
If the police guy did it, he would likely have assistance from his cop buddies to ensure it was covered-up. What I’m not sure about is, “why?” What did they know or believe that would’ve given them incentive for this?
A esta mujer la mataron, el policía que dice que se suicidó está encubriendo al primo que estaba enfadado con la desaparecida , no hicieron pruebas importantes como hacer fotos de las huellas, ni dar detalles para ayudar, solo su hipótesis de suicidio, muy raro todo… Deberían de hacer pruebas de ADN a la familia entera al policía sospechoso, compañeros oficiales etcetera
No idea what happened to this poor women. Something that I noticed and felt compelled to add my two cents, if she was abducted killed dumped in the lake and the car driven back to the church? How exactly did the killer/killers get the lady’s car keys back in her zipped up pocket? I think it has to be the husband just by the math. Where is the second set of car keys? Is there a second set and who has access to these? Speaking from experience and being abandoned by someone that supposedly loved you is not a small matter for men. Women are much better at break ups. Men don’t take this loss of control abandonment very well. I have heard, hell knows no fury like a women’s scorn. Well… real life, a man on the edge of losing everything he has built over a life time and suddenly taking all that away with the added burden of paying for the rest of his life in alimony checks for something he no longer possesses can push even the nicest guy into the dark side. Statistically speaking I have the math on my side.
I believe it was a murder as well but how did the car keys get in the pocket of the jacket when someone took her car back to the church…=
Hi! Sorry for my English, but if she was on a fuel station before her lost, the fuel tank of her car have to be full, if someone took her car and drive more than 100 miles, Police can see the difference, cause for this car 100 miles take about 15-20 Liters of fuel. If fuel tank was not full – that’s the answer.
trace the calls and the recordings and find the phhone trace timelines who knew where she was going and who was where and when
Pretty sure it was murder. Picture this. A person will have their keys out before getting to the car. She notices the assailant(s) as she’s trying to get into her car, rushed in, leaving the purse on her left arm and puts to put the vehicle into drive moving it slightly. They open the door grab her by the purse, ripping it in the process, gaining her attention and hold her at gunpoint. They tell her to get out of the car. Hoping she makes it out alive, she turns off the car and holds onto her keys. The assailant then tells her to leave the purse and walk to the water. They walk her right up to the edge and tell her to get in. Still holding onto hope, she gets down and slides down to the first level, then again with the second and finally all the way in. Still at gunpoint, they force her to keep waking. She’s wet, she’s cold, she’s scared. She usually doesn’t zip up her coat, but she’s really cold. She zips up her keys in her pocket in case she makes it back safely to her car. The cold is too much to bear. She loses consciousness and drowns.
i’ve read a few of the theories here
so i have combined the ones i’ve read. timothy (very suspected) and/or the guy that said “whoever killed her must of have done that to scare her not kill her” (sounds like guilt) drowned her because of family problems and/or because of her money (because expensive things she own have been mentioned a lot in the episode). and also, i think i cracked the code on how the murderer drove the car “without her keys”. they must’ve stole it before she went drove to church, so it could be a follower or neighbor of hers. they probably went in there to steal something, and kept driving so nobody would notice them inside the car, but they forgot where she put her car so they put it somewhere they thought the car was. so, after they drove the car, they murdered her, put the keys inside her coat, put her inside the water and made the marks in the snow. they did it all so it seemed like she killed herself, but it was pretty obvious that she didn’t, so im pretty sure the police got involved somehow.
Reminds me of ‘Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive’, where they talked about a guy who had a family, loved ones and yet jumped off a cliff out of nowhere.
– If bipolar, she could’ve been on her down period, realising that smth is wrong with her she turned to religion since that seems to be less stigmatised than psychiatric help in the US. Many sick people in the US desperately cling to religion when sick, since doctors cost more;
– Depression doesn’t have a face or a mood, Youtube Chester Bennington having fun and laughing like two days before his death;
– Her filling up on gas is just her not knowing what she’ll later do that day;
– Car alarm – literally anything could’ve caused it;
– Of course it will be harder to find a body in the water during night when they’re dressed in black and seemingly quite strongly tanned;
– Leave anything in a large body of water for long and it will move somewhere;
– She’s all zipped up bc it is cold;
– Handbag torn bc it is a new bag and she could’ve been unused to all the fabric hanging around and getting caught.
Ain’t gonna lie, I mostly listen to these episodes while doing smth else, but I’m pretty sure this sounds like mental illness killing her. Nobody ever really does kill themselves, it is usually smth forcing them to do so. When your body starts attacking itself because of some illnesses and so it kills you without you yourself doing anything isn’t called a suicide, why mental illnesses causing death should be treated differently?
While suicide is definitely not my top theory, I do agree with a lot of these points. Many people take on a very active lifestyle and social engagements to avoid depressive episodes.
I also agree that it’s possible she may not have known what she was going to do until the prayer night. Religious experiences can be deeply reflective and moving, I’m sure.
An alternative theory to suicide: she had a moving religious experience inside the church and felt the need to go look at the lake, despite the safety concerns. I know this doesn’t seem practical, but if she was in an altered state of mind maybe she didn’t think about how unsafe it was. Then, maybe she fell and hit her head, or succumbed to hypothermia.
Francisco Richel Moura Da Silva
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I would rule out a murderer going to the trouble of returning the car knowing that he might leave a trace on it. He could simply get rid of the car by abandoning it on the other hand and more because he was not sure that they would see him driving it or getting out of the vehicle through a security camera.I could also hide the car, if it is for money I do not think that someone can set up a crime scene as a well paid murderer since those who might settle accounts would not pay even more money when it is not their idea to lose even more than they already lost. or want to get their hands dirty for a topic like this. This is what I think may have happened: she walked into the church and every action she took on her fear: sitting in the front of the church for everyone to see and any suspects would be seen by everyone (phone calls). When leaving the church it occurs to me that two things could have happened but that she ended up in only one situation: the first is that she recognized someone who was going to meet her at a discreet distance, then she activates the alarm by kicking her own car since she feels that it will not be able to open the car and enter the time before being caught. and he runs towards the coast in the dark trying to lose it (due to the cold he closed his coat and keys because his arms in his pockets would make him lose balance because of his heels) . If the reason for running away from someone I consider dangerous Or maybe she thought she knew him, maybe they would take her to throw away her cell phone and rosary as if to get whoever was chasing him to pick them up and then leave her alone. as long as she kept running or walking fast in the dark. The person who was chasing her was probably an adult (very out of shape and that is why I win time by throwing the cell phone) but after picking it up she still hears the footsteps of who is still chasing him.she feels that maybe they want to kidnap her in exchange for ransom or to take her car keys. So if .. he gets to the coast it was not fatal to achieve it or stumble while still in the snow. As seen in the photos, first I try to slide down quickly through the snow but this did not work more than a couple of meters because later it is appreciated that it only sinks. In my opinion, the other person did not choose to slide and went on foot all the way, but halfway down the road, she passed the same place that she continued to go down on foot.As it was so dark, she might have tried to deceive whoever was chasing him through so much darkness. with only breaking part of the ice on the coast, or going in and out and just keep walking slowly or walking quickly trying not to make noise along the coast. car alarms often turn off on their own after a certain time (some are programmed I think) that must have been something that the church did not care for that reason I suppose. And then the saddest thing would happen: she was running away, so no matter how convenient it was to run or go at a fast pace with heels, she didn’t have time to take them off or she would be hit. So it was as the police said in that regard: she had to go 100 meters skirting to some point where she could happen between two things: 1st that she stumbled on her heels in a place where there was almost no snow because of running and finally fell and it will hit itself, causing perhaps the bruises, and probably thus it will reach it and suffocate it. Then the subject would only be dragging her along the coast so as not to leave traces to some place where he would think the current would carry her, who would see it? nobody because nothing would be seen with how dark it was.I know there may be other variants but I think that maybe I am coming a little closer, I don’t think she committed suicide.She was a strong woman: as she cared for her brothers, thinking about a security agency (she wants to protect herself) shows her determination, she was not going to give up easily so she decided to run before the slightest feeling of danger.
From the beginning of the show, money was a constant mention.
-A very rich town.
-Mom worked at a high-end boutique.
-Several Lexus mentions. Not “mom’s car/SUV,” but always ‘the Lexus.’
Follow the money. Where there’s smoke, there’s always fire. It would seem money was a, or thee, driving force in this family.
I agree with the daughter’s speculation. I think JoAnn was abducted and her own car was used to go to her murder site and back to the church. Since she had just fuelled her car, the police should have looked at the gas tank. It could have been damning evidence (that is if the killer did not think to refill the tank).
This all is really strange. I visited the website that was stated in more than one comment here (https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/defenders/2020/10/19/watch-joann-matouk-romain-mystery-series-parts-1-4/) and there is much more information. The police has something to do with this and it’s probably because of Tim.
Every evidence given is not credible for the police, which is suspicious, because they didn’t even do things right. A man saw Tim and another man the night of JoAnn’s dissapearance next to the Lexus with a black car parked illegally.
Then the police reports are really suspicious. They went to let JoAnn’s family know that she was missing at 9:24 and the dissapearance was reported at 9:58. It’s the same with the coastguards. They were reported of the missing at 9:30 ish. A bit weird if the police didn’t know of the dissapearance until almost 10. Besides, it’s a very short period of time. She was seen for the last time leaving the church at 7:20 ish. How can you tell if someone has dissapeared in two hours. That’s what her family thought. For her children she wasn’t missing yet so they didn’t report it to the police and yet the police started the investigation without a missing report, unless someone else did it.
Also something really strange apart from the fact that the police didn’t look for fingerprints (or they were “unclear”) is the fact that some people saw a man running next to the lake with a black scarf that they later would find on the floor and instead of saving it as an evidence they donated to the charity. How can you get rid of a possible evidence of a case that hasn’t been closed yet?
Apparently JoAnn had a meeting a few days or weeks of the day she went missing with the FBI, which the FBI can’t nor confirm or deny.
The police says that she commited suicide, that she died drowning but no water was found in her lungs.
I think the police has to do a lot with this.
I agree. Right from the beginning of the episode, it was never explained why there were so many cops, coast guard, dive teams called out for a woman who left her car in front of the church. How did the cops ever come to believe she was missing? No one reported her missing. Lots of people might leave their car parked and certainly you would not have all these cops showing up to check. The cops knew something. How did they know that she didn’t just go with a friend for coffee or drinks and would come back to get the car later? it was only 9:30pm.
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Yo sometería a Tim a una prueba de mentiras pq claramente está diciendo mentiras además su lenguaje corporal lo delata.
Todos sabemos q es policía y muchos de ellos se cubren las espaldas.
Esta claro q el tribunal a el cual los hermanos demandaron no podían darles la razón puesto q sería un escándalo. Además no hay evidencia q haya sido un suicidio pero si hay muestras claras q no tomaron medidas ni quisieron ver más allá del caso pq los policías siempre van a un paso de nosotros.
Creo firmemente q fue un suicidio no por lo q hayan dicho los investigadores sino por la falta de desiciones q tuvieron al ver claramente lo q pasaba.
Ojalá realmente alguien les los mensajes de cada uno de nosotros y tome la desicion de abrir el caso.
Definitely believe this to be a murder and not suicide.. I mean come on. It has to be a murder. Things don’t add up in this case. The fact that the purse wasn’t fingerprinted, nor the car, or more info about the car…. doesn’t make any sense at all!! Also the way in which the police were acting, seemed to give off a very “I don’t care” demeanor with aggregation. They just dismissed her case for suicide when not even looking at the facts.. merely a conspiracy they created. I believe that Tim or Joanns brother we’re the ones responsible. If it was Tim, it could explain why the police dismissed this case so easily… bc one: he was in the police force, 2. police always do the “don’t break bro code”, and 3. don’t want their reputation ruined. The bother could also be responsible bc of the money or even past relations with others. This all makes noooo sense at all in my eyes. Another thing is, her kids know their mother the best. They knew that she never zipped her coat, was always very suspicious, was super happy, and felt followed… I mean how could u not see that their was foul play?!!! It also didn’t make sense about her bags condition as well. It was torn (which shows a struggle) and was a designer bag. She bought it six weeks before so why would she want to tear it?? Her daughters theories make the most sense to me. Seems as though she was killed and dumped into the river down further away from when they initially thought she entered the water. Lastly, the crime pictures also don’t make sense. To me it seems as though a struggle was their especially in the body shot photo. And the idea of her walking in heels across snow covered roads and icy slopes make no sense. Also thing about how the water bed was all rocks and their was no current. Her shoes were in pristine condition (with no scuffs) so how would that match up with her walking down concrete, in the dark, and along a rock covered waterbed. MAKES NO SENSE… she was murdered and it’s horrible that her case was just washed aside. Sending prayers to Joanns family and hoping for more answers.
My heart goes out to Michelle and her siblings. Here are my thoughts about this case. JoAnn Matouk was killed by someone in her immediate family. I believe that her brother William is the one that had her killed, or, the main hand in trying to scare her, which possibly led to an accidental death.
There was a $20 million inheritance that was supposed to be divided amongst five siblings. Two or three of the siblings, one of them being JoAnn and the other John, did not get their full part of the inheritance. Lawsuits were filed and in the end I believe that each of the siblings that sued, only received $600,000 each. Doing the math: $20 million divided five ways would allot each sibling $4 million. Ripped off by 3.4 million bucks!!! With that being said and based on Michelle’s testimony that her mother went to visit her brother and came out of the liquor store scared and terrified…this says a lot. Based on the testimony in the documentary, this happened just a few days before she was kidnapped and killed.
JoAnn felt that she was being followed and this was probably 100% true. Whoever was following her basically knew her routines. She ran her errands that day, dropped her son off at home, went and got gas and then went to church. It could be that she was either approached by someone right before she got into her car (church parking lot) after the mass and the struggle happened there. It could also be that she left the church, stopped somewhere before getting home and the struggle happened at this unknown location. Either way the struggle consisted of the person grabbing her by the arm and probably yanking on the purse which caused the damage to the leather on her purse.
Service at the church started at around seven or 7:15 PM with a service/mass time of around 20 minutes. Let’s say she got there a few minutes after seven and was getting ready to get into her car at around 7:30 PM, police did not find her car until a bit after 9:30 PM, therefore, there is about a two hour window that needs to be analyzed here.
This was a two to three man job so one person took the car back and staged the scene. The other took off with JoAnn and the 3rd person waited for the first idiot to finish staging so he could give him a ride. In the meantime JoAnn was taken to a location that is possibly 30 minutes away from the church and left in a cold location. She was probably warned about persisting with future investigations regarding the inheritance and the business and maybe more.
She either froze to death and they panicked causing them to dump her in the water or something else was done that either intentionally or mistakenly killed her.
Chief Jensen is an idiot! A person with common sense would know that this family has money, the woman is driving a very nice car, she has never been seen dressed in a shabby manner yet her pocketbook is all messed up. Then they did not even bother to fingerprint the purse. Even a wrinkled plastic bag can produce prints on it and there are many different powders and chemicals that are used within the last 10 years to get fingerprints to rise off of many surfaces.
Also, and many of you may not know this but she actually had a couple of thousand dollars in her pocketbook. Who would leave that much money in a car? If this was about money owed, I think the culprits would’ve dug in her purse. But because I believe that this was about family fortune, the people that took her obviously had money so they did not care to look in her purse. She had all of her jewelry on her body as well, another indicator that this was not about money owed, otherwise the jewelry would have been taken.
Tim Matouk had a hand in this, or, helped William Matouk hire some men to do the dirty deed.
John Matouk, Tim Matouk and William Matouk all took lie detector tests. It was revealed that John Matouk passed his test but the results of the other two are unknown or they failed.
The police botched this case and I think that one or more got paid off for their silence or maybe blackmailed into silence.
This was not a suicide Chief Jensen! You are an idiot! The search and dive team could not find her in that super shallow water. The gentleman that was in charge of the search even stated that she was not anywhere in that water. That is such an open area and there were no currents. A person dressed in all black would have been seen and found immediately.
I really appreciate the fact that unsolved mysteries has documented this case and that the killers be found and put to justice.
Affaire : « LA DAME DU LAC «
Joann MATOUK ROMAIN Eglise St PAUL Grosse Pointe FARMS , MICHIGAN , Janvier 12 2010, Lac St Clair. Après avoir vu le reportage sur NETFLIX le 15/12/2020, j’ai voulu comprendre le pourquoi de certains évènements de cette affaire que « Columbo « aurait aimé résoudre. J’espère que mon témoignage pourra résoudre cette affaire avec les éléments que j’ai vu du reportage pour que Mrs Joann MATOUK repose en paix et que ses enfants comprennent le déroulement de cette affaire pas simple.
Voilà l’histoire : Cette histoire commence déjà par des empreintes dans la neige relevées par la Police chef Daniel JENSEN après avoir découvert la voiture de Mrs Joann prés de l’église St Paul. La police a suivi cette piste du suicide mais Mrs Joann ne c’est jamais suicidée mais on l’a assassinée, un meurtre prémédité de sang-froid par un proche. Les empreintes dans la neige ont été faites plus tôt dans la journée par surement un couple qui ont voulu admirer le lac gelé. Il avait deux traces donc deux personnes mais pas le meurtrier et Mrs Joann, trop risqué pour le meurtrier, traverser deux routes et risquer de se faire prendre ou voir, impossible et le temps reste insuffisant, trop court pour se rendre au lac vers 19h20, alarme de la voiture et le départ de la voiture avant 19h35, signalé par une témoin sortant de l’église surtout sur un sol glissant et enneigé, dans la nuit froide. On ne fait pas le plein d’essence de sa voiture avant de suicider comme l’avait signalé un enquêteur Scott Lewis. Beaucoup de négligence de la police dans cette affaire. On aurait peut-être pu sauver Mrs Joann au moment ou l’alarme de la voiture a retenti à 19h20 mais personne n’ait descendu voir la raison de l’alarme de la voiture. A ce moment le meurtrier a menacé Mrs Joann d’une arme, elle a voulu signaler avec l’alarme de la voiture son agression mais rien. Elle est ensuite partie de force avec le meurtrier qu’elle connait. Ils ont du se garer plus loin moteur arrêté pour ne pas éveiller les soupçons. Ils ont du parler ! La raison de sa veste et poches fermés pour ne pas avoir froid dans une voiture sans chauffage l’hiver. Elle a compris que son destin était celé, LA MORT. Alors Mrs va faire en sorte de semer des indices pour que l’on reconnaisse le meurtrier. Cette dame était intelligente ! Plus tard la voiture est revenue se garer près de l’église conduite par Mrs Joann elle-même sous la menace du meurtrier. Pourquoi revenir près de l’église simplement que le meurtrier qui avait suivi Mrs Joann en voiture devait récupérer sa voiture. Elle conduisait parce que les clés sont toujours restées dans sa poche après sa mort. L’énigme de sa mort a été résolu grâce à cette clé de voiture dans sa poche. Elle a garé la voiture perpendiculaire au trottoir pour former la lettre T , voiture avec le trottoir le buisson n’est que l’a pour prêter plus attention comme une flèche , REGARDE, pour designer Tim MATOUK son meurtrier . La raison de n’avoir pas garer la voiture le long du trottoir comme elle avait surement l’habitude de le faire. Voila le premier indice qu’elle a semer. Pour le second indice Mrs Joann a dû se défendre ou vouloir s’enfuir, son sac à main portait surement l’ADN ou empreinte du meurtrier à l’endroit de la déchirure. Elle prit soin de le laisser en évidence dans la voiture et de la fermer pour pas que l’on vol le sac. Elle a fermé la voiture et gardée cette clé dans sa poche, pour que l’on sache que c’était elle qui à semer ces indices. Le meurtrier assis à l’arrière de la voiture n’a pas voulu s’encombrer du sac ou il ne l’a pas vu tout simplement. Mrs Joann a du mourir peu de temps après. Je pense qu’elle a du semer un troisième indices le chapelet surement cacher dans la voiture du meurtrier. Pour les deux marques sur le bras gauche après sa mort, surement dans le coffre de la voiture pendant que le meurtrier chercher un moyen pour se débarrasser du corps plus loin dans l’eau. Tim MATOUK est de la police, il doit savoir être invisible, gangs,portable etc… Le meurtre était presque parfait ! Le mobile de cette affaire surement comme le dit le reportage une histoire sombre de famille. Tim MTOUK est il passé au détecteur de mensonge ? A t’il vendu sa voiture après le meurtre ? J’espère que l’enquête pourra avancer. Cordialement
iv solved it in the episode . john say and i quote im sorry this happend becuse of me not if and he also says that he dose not believe that the idea was not to kill her indicating that it was a accident. also john was not a religeous man but stated in his last inter view joann had given him her rosery beads witch he is videod with . witch cant be right as in an earler interveiw michelle romain states that the two thing that were are missing are the cell phone and the rosery beads so how does john have them? and the witness from the church sates joann had them when she left the church. and john also states he was in financial trouble right at the time the family is arguing about the inheritance . my belief is that john had something to do with it but was an accident and used his past discrepancies as a cover.
Why did they never check the position of the driver side seat? It would be easy to tell if someone had moved it. She was 4’11 if she was taken they would have had to move the seat. Even if they had moved it up they could tell based off her body if it was where it should be.
I dont understand that fact of the key was in her pocket, so i have 3 theorys: 1. The abductor has a copy (that leds us to assume it was someone who knows very well JoAnn) 2. The abductor meets her away from the parking lot, killed her and come back in her car, locked up the car, put the keys in her pocket and have a accomplice to carry her to the river, and the theory that one of the abductor was close to her is matching that the fact of he/she/they zipped up her coat, 3. The police was involved, because, why the assumed after 3 hours of been missing she killed her self? im mean, come on… Someone in the police wants to burry the case, that cuestion matching with the fact thtat no analisis of her purse, they didnt find any fingerprint in her car, they didnt analize if the car has been intervenied in the electric part (if the abductor hasnt the keys, maybe he/she/ they mannipulate the wires) and NO ONE talks about the effective link of her cousin Tim with the police, the didnt mencioned that wasnt a story of corruption in the police, or if Tim didnt get involved in the investigation, i think Tim has a lot to do in here, and no one talks about it, how he could interviened in the investigation… Obviously has something to do with family money and something went wrong, i think that was her cousin Tim and her brother, and for the cameras, they seems to be bothered with each other, why the police or the private investigators didnt search they bank accounts? or the phone record of they?
THERE’S SO MUCH MORE TO THE STORY! CHECK OUT THE LOCAL DETROIT INVESTIGATION ON IT!!!
I’m just curious. They said that they found her car keys zipped up in her jacket, which was on her, but yet they speculate that the suspects probably drive her to the location and dumped her body and then drove back and parked her car. I’m just curious as how they were able to do that with no keys?? There was apparently no evidence of tampering.
I can’t help but to think there was a boat involved. It also answers the mystery about the keys. Ply it out- two abductors approach and force JoAnn into her car. They move the car until the church’s parking lot is empty. They come back and park the car, then force her down the embankment and into a small/medium boat. At this point they either kill her and shove her keys in her jacket, or do so prior to killing her. Being that the water was so cold, they could have tied and dragged her in the water as they made the trip to Detroit. By the time they got to populated areas she would have passed from drowning or hypothermia and all they would have had to do is cut the rope and keep manning the boat.
It’s me again …well after reading some news about this case i copy for you the new evidence i just read and this reinforce my opinion that Tim is the one to blame with involvement :
“Timothy Matouk is JoAnn’s cousin. He holds a high-profile job as an investigator with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. An attorney representing JoAnn’s family said he believes the information this new witness has shared could take the case in a new direction.
“Do the right thing, and that is: question their own. Now, we know that Tim Matouk knows a lot more than he is saying, and that’s all that we want him to do,” said attorney Ari Kresch.
The witness said he went to police years ago with a description of Timothy Matouk but claimed investigators became aggressive and hostile, accusing him of giving false information to police.”
P.s is Matouk is family name of JoAnn or her ex-husband’s name???
maybe the dispute was over money that she thinks she deserves from her ex husband’s family/parents?
I definitely thinks it was a well planned murder !!! and the motive is the money dispuete in her family. Also she told her daughter Michelle that if somehing bad happen to her is Tim to blame because she was always fhoght with him over money..
Sabo the guy here that commented this remark : “her brother john held a rosary claiming “his sister gave it to him” is it just me or is that an odd coincidence that HER rosary happened to be missing?”
is also right. this is very suspicious…minimum two persons waited for her to get out of the church kidnapped her in her own car, they had a copy from her car key (cause they are from ther own family and someone maybe her brother duplicated her car key) drove with her for 55 km and murderd her there , beat her until she lost consciousness and throw her into the frozen lake…
I can’t help but think that the son was also somehow involved in this. I have a bad feeling about him. I don’t think the brother lives with them or comes around the house that often. They probably got her son involved
The brother, John Matouk, mentions he thinks two people took his sister, which I thought was strange as to what led him to that conclusion, but when he then stated “I don’t think they intended to kill her” my radar went off! Now how can he get a feel such as this? How can he know if her killing was unintentional? Unless, maybe he was there! Simple human behaviors can sometimes speak volumes! Secondly, the police officer on the stand was not convincing me he was being forth comíng, as we know it’s too far fetched to be a suicide and his body language was off. For him to look at them and say he believes it was a suicide was uncomfortable to watch especially with him keeping a stoic face the whole time.
Is there some sort of dam or gate at the border between US and Canada? If there is, then there’s no way her body could’ve gotten through that if she entered the water in Michigan.
Did no one notice a fact about her car keys. The car was moved, then brought back…but her keys were in her zipped up pocket. Not one cop or detective could see…. that made no sense.
I tend to think its an abduction gone wrong.
probably a very wild guess but here it goes:
Probably 2 abductors.
Someone, with the knowlegde that she attends church , could have done the following:
Rent a small boat. Head to the church and wait until she leaves.
1 obductor would wait in the boat.
The plan would be to knock er out and take her on the boat.
She leaves church, enters her car.
Someone approaches her, (asking for a ride). She probably would have agreed.
The person enters the car, points a gun at her. She presses the panic button, the car alarm goes off.
The kidnapper panics and tells her to start driving.
After driving for some time, the kidnapper tells her to start driving back to church (the other kidnapper is waiting for them).
They get on the boat and leave.
Later, in deaper water, there is a struggle, she goes overboard.
The freezing cold water makes her drown.
I dont get this
Can some one please explain to me how a criminal/s can take a person put them in the car drive them 30 miles away then drive back but the keys where in her pocket ?? Makes no sence
Also the said there where prints in the snow and believed the criminals did this ok let’s see how that works out
They take the lady 30 miles away they put the car back by the church then they have time to put alot of prints in the snow to make it looked like she slipped then they some hope make their way back to the ladys body (30 miles away) put the keys in her pocket and zip it up
No im not buying it
This lady killed her self
Check how much fuel she paid for before going to church. Find the distance from the pump to the church, if there’s a lot more missing, then the car was actually moved. I wouldn’t trust a single eye witness saying there wasn’t a car in view when she left the church- it was dark and cold.
If the car was moved, then they would need the key to drive it back. Which means wherever they possibly took the mom, they would’ve had to keep her for a while to return the key back into her jacket. I would check the CCTVs around the areas where the river could’ve moved the body to where she was found.
If it was suicide and she slipped into the water, her shoes or at least her heels would’ve been broken on impact as there was a sort of ledge.
In the episode, the daughter explains that her moms keys were in her pocket. Then later on explains her theory that her mom was kidnapped in her own car, dumped by the kidnapper, then the kidnapper drove her car back to the church, and ditched it.
So my question is, how did the kidnapper drive the car back when the keys to the car were in her coat when she was found?
There would be signs of the car being hot wired.
What I don’t understand and the episode did not explain – why did police turn up at the daughter’s house that evening to tell them she was missing? What prompted that? Her car was sitting, apparently innocently enough, in the parking lot. It was only a couple of hours later, why did anyone even notice?
Of course, someone needed to “find” the evidence of “suicide” in the snow by the water before it melted – so the police had to be called that evening. But who called them, when, and why?
Is there any way of knowing how much gas was used after she went to the gas station to know how far she, or whoever drove from the church and back?
So the one witness (that they specified) said that the car wasn’t there when she left…maybe she was just mistaken, happens all the time. At one point someone said it was 12 degrees out, when it’s that cold I’m guess people aren’t especially attentive…
And I’m mystified why the only discussion is suicide or murder? What about accident? Here’s a simple scenario: She’s having family troubles and goes to church. After church, she’s feels better but decides to walk out toward the lake to clear her head a bit more, despite, or perhaps because of, the cold. Once she’s near the shore, she slips on the ice on that concrete slope and either hits her head or simply can’t get back out because of the icy slope. She would have died very quickly in the frigid water. Then–she’s dressed entirely in black, and has dark hair–they just don’t find her. Seems odd that she would drift far enough away not to be found, but seems more likely than suicide or murder, for which no one has really provided a motive other than family bickering.
I think that these police didn’t do their job right how could you not know that by grabbing a purse hard it could rib and I felt like someone had access to space car keys also the part about her and the heels makes no sense like she would have fell into the water instead I can’t walk in tall heels imagine trying to walk down a steep sidewalk they didn’t even check the Purse for DNA And considering they didn’t even listen to the mothers children who probably knew her better than anyone and said that she would never do that and she was nervous especially after the phone call I pray they can find some answers soon .
Her brother says that something was not right but he himself is definitely not right with him, perhaps he inherited something in her death.
VERY IMPORTANT FOR SOMEONE TO READ:
JOANN ROMAIN WAS NOT MURDERED NOR DID SHE KILL HERSELF.
She had some type of cardiac arrest, she left and did not feel well and was close to the church. With what energy she could muster she turned around and came back, she was not going into cardiac arrest yet but merely a stroke. She was disoriented as she got out of her vehicle she placed her keys in her pocket out of pure habit and it was then she went into full blown cardiac arrest. She could not retrieve her keys out of the pocket but signalled the alarm in hopes of someone hearing it but unfortunately no one heard it. She stumbled for help what tracks were left showed. She ends up in the water thinking that the cold temperature might actually help her heart.
She was alive for some time as her body had mass from being alive and that is how her body made it so much further than anticipated. The cold water slowed her heart down.
Unfortunately she succumbed to death without medical attention.
I can see that she seen the helicopters and shortly passed during the search and rescue.
Let her children know she is passed over and okay, to let them know her mother passed without suffering violence and no she did not kill herself!
My curiosity compels me to ask; can they show us the autopsy report? Toxicology report? Did they take samples of the water inside her shoes? I dont know why, but i cant stop thinking about the shoes. Gravel, soil, fibers, plastic…I am also convinced it was someone she knew. Its sychological profiling 101: the zippers ( sign of guilt, embarrassment, conflict) . Combined with the fact that she dissappeared after church (so they knew her schedules for mass), and her car was used to dump her body (with no suspicious activity or prints?). Someone who could justify having their DNA already in the car. Also the phone records, the killer was smart enough not to lure her into a meeting with a phone call. So many questions, such little evidence, oddly so little evidence…
If the car key was found in her jacket pocket, how did the killer drive the car back to the parking lot?
C. A. Ziegfeld
Suicide? Right from the start? ( Suspiciously someone she knows on the force?) She walks sraight out of church and into frozen water? Keys used to drive her car and then back into her pocket? The lights and alarm going off? The officer that was not related… knows something .. he looked away and down throughout the interview. I live in Michigan.. Winter here is extremely cold.. and there are many times we dont like it… I cant imagine the choice for suicide would be a frozen 2 foot river. Grosse Pointe is a tight lipped ,closed community.. they dont want to be associated with trouble…. yes the rosary beads did bring other questions to mind. My love and good energy to this ladys family.. a horrible way to live… Not knowing and suspicious always of those around you.. The pilice were grievously neglegent… Beginning with not getting fingerprints or footprints.
For me it was a conspiracy, it’s obviously tha not was a suicide, and the police insisted on it with weak arguments, the fact of the cousin Tim, be a cop, and for me seems a little nervous on the interrogation, point to a big conspiration for homicide, other factor, is no showing alibi for any cop, even the cousin, that was a principal suspicious in the case…
Did no one notice a fact about her car keys. The car was moved, then brought back…but her keys were in her zipped up pocket. Not one cop or detective could see…. that made no sense.
If the car left the lot and came back…how did her keys get zipped up in her pocket. Did they ever address that and I missed it?
I watched the episode just now and this is what struck me too. How can the keys be in her pocket if they had to take the car back.
I think this was neither a suicide nor a murder. It was an accident. May be she got a call after she got out of the church, went down talking with rosemary in her hand and tripped and fell. That is why the rosemary and phone are missing.
If her body was dumped and her car keys were found in her coat pocket (found on her body) how did the murderer drive the car back to the church? Did I miss something! I believe it was a murder but this tidbit confused me!
I agree with Dixie Anderson a lot was alarming regarding the brother, if he has financial issues how we’re those resolved how did he get out of debt. And because her rosary was one of the items that was missing how and when did the brother get hold of it? Wasn’t she using it at church on that day?
The brother should do a polygraph test.
1. I strongly felt that the imprint in the snow was from a body lying down, either watching JoAnn covertly or her corpse bring placed there temporarily. 2. I agree with another poster that the brother is very suspicious. I can’t put my finger on it precisely but my spider sense is definitely tingling with him. He seems insincere. I though it right away, before her daughter mentioned it. I also thought his comment that the person didn’t mean to kill her spoke volumes. This was definitely an inside job and I I strongly feel the brother is involved. If the car keys were found on the body, how could the car have been moved between JoAnn leaving church and the witness leaving? Either the witness is wrong/lying or the assailant had access to spare keys.
This isn’t a tip. But more of an observation and question from Joann Romains episode. Not sure if this is the right place for this. Anyways, I thought it was a bit weird and completely suspicious that at the end of the episode her brother john held a rosary claiming “his sister gave it to him” is it just me or is that an odd coincidence that HER rosary happened to be missing? Also did she have a life insurance policy and if so which family members were included in that? Her brother? If he was included in her insurance policy and had money problems then maybe he was very desperate for money….a lot of people do the unthinkable in times of desperation. Also was her car drivers seat pushed back or was it adjusted for her size?
LITERALLY he had that rosary but it was “missing” he seems mysterious
Since the car was moved, did the black box ever get looked at as evidence?
Black box ?????? Black boxes are in aircraft to record events in case of a crash…….. they don’t have them in cars
Ask those police officers, the cousin and the lead to take polygraph tests. Was the car ever fingerprinted? If she thought her phone was being followed – who would have the ability to do that – the police – the cousin. This “suicide theory” just doesn’t add up. Are there any video camera’s any where around the church or her trip home? It was that cousin and his officer buddies. Why else would they make an ASSUMPTION that it was suicide so quickly, plus she suspected her phone being tapped, people coming in and out of her house, and going through her mail. Disturbing to say the least!
That was not suicide