Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

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Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:53 pm

Michigan police seek ex-husband after Colon woman disappears

Story Created: Apr 26, 2010 at 9:45 PM EDT



Michigan State Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a St. Joseph County, Mich., woman.

They say 32-year-old Venus Rose Stewart, of Colon Township, was abducted from her parent’s home sometime between 7:10 and 8:30 a.m. Monday.

Police at the White Pigeon post told SBT24/7 News that she was believed abducted by her ex-husband, 29-year-old Douglas Stewart.

Venus Stewart is white with dark hair and brown eyes, about 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. She was last seen in pajamas.

Douglas Stewart is white with brown hair and eyes, about 5 feet 11 inches tall and 250 pounds.

Police think they may be headed to Virginia in a 1998 silver Mercury or a 2005 silver Dodge Ram. Both vehicles are tagged in Virginia.

Anyone with information is asked to call Michigan State Police at (269) 483-7611.


http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/92146019.html


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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:55 pm

Missing St. Joseph County woman requested protection orders against estranged husband

By Rex Hall Jr. | Kalamazoo Gazette
April 27, 2010, 2:44PM

COLON TOWNSHIP — A 32-year-old woman who police believe was abducted early Monday from her parents’ home in St. Joseph County requested three personal-protection orders against her estranged husband since 2008, court records show.

Venus Rose Stewart’s most recent petition for a protection order against Douglas Harrie Stewart, 29, came in February, a St. Joseph County Circuit Court official said Tuesday. A previous request in July 2008 was terminated three months later and a second request in March 2009 was denied, the official said.

Stewart was last seen by her mother, who left for work at about 6 a.m. Monday from their residence in the 55000 block of Driftwood Drive in Colon Township, according to Michigan State Police. Investigators said initially that Stewart may have been abducted by husband Douglas Stewart, who resides in Newport News, Va.

Douglas Stewart was found Monday in Newport News and spoke to authorities. Investigators declined today to say whether he is a suspect in his wife’s disappearance.

“We’re hoping for the best that she turns up alive and well,” said Lt. Mike Risko of the Michigan State Police post in White Pigeon. “We still don’t think she left on her own free will.”

Police said the Stewarts have been married for five years and have two children, ages 3 and 5. Venus Stewart, police said, formerly lived in Newport News but moved back to Michigan, where she was living with her parents and children.

Risko said police have “no reliable information” that Douglas Stewart was in Michigan at the time of his wife’s disappearance. Police today were continuing to ask for assistance from anyone who may have seen Venus Stewart traveling in a silver Mercury sedan with Virginia license plate XNP1453 or silver Dodge Ram with Virginia license plate XNP1301.

Both of the vehicles are registered to Douglas Stewart, Risko said. The lieutenant said that, despite locating Douglas Stewart, police have yet to find the car or pickup truck.

Police ask that anyone who may have seen Venus Stewart or the Mercury sedan or Dodge pickup truck to call the State Police post in White Pigeon at 269-483-7611 or the State Police Regional Dispatch Center in Rockford at 616-866-6666.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/04/missing_st_joseph_county_woman.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Piper on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:52 pm

This doesn't sound good for her....
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ABDUCTED MOM VENUS ROSE STEWART MICHIGAN

Post by dedekeene on Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:58 am

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/04/police_searching_for_missing_w.html

Police search for Venus Rose Stewart, of St. Joseph County, who they believe was abducted by her estranged husband

By Rex Hall Jr. | Kalamazoo Gazette
April 26, 2010, 5:03PM

COLON TOWNSHIP — Police are searching for a missing St. Joseph County woman who is believed to have been abducted Monday morning by her estranged husband, authorities said.

Venus Rose Stewart, 32, was taken some time between 7:10 and 8:30 a.m. from her parents’ home in the 55000 block of Driftwood Drive in Colon Township, according to Michigan State Police.

Police said Stewart, who was last seen wearing pajamas, may be with her estranged husband, Douglas Harrie Stewart, 29.

“We have information to believe she did not leave voluntarily,” said Lt. Mike Risko of the State Police Post in White Pigeon.

Police said the Stewarts may be traveling in a 1998 silver Mercury sedan with Virginia license plate XNP1453 or a silver full-size Dodge Ram with four doors and Virginia plate XNP1301.

Douglas Stewart lives in Newport News, Va., and police believe the two may be headed there.

Risko said Venus Stewart formerly lived in Newport News but had moved back to Michigan where she was living with her parents and children.

He said Venus Stewart’s father and children were asleep at the house in Colon Township at the time that she is believed to have been abducted.

The lieutenant declined to say Monday what information police have that leads them to believe that Venus Stewart did not leave her parents’ home willingly.

Police described Venus Stewart as a white female, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing approximately 130 pounds with brown eyes and dark hair.

Douglas Stewart is described as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing approximately 250 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information about the Stewarts’ whereabouts to call the White Pigeon post at 269-483-7611 or the State Police Regional Dispatch Center in Rockford at 616-866-6666.

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Julie on Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:42 am

Thanks for the link dedekeene & welcome to RC.

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Venus Rose Stewart ... Missing 04/26/2010

Post by FystyAngel on Mon May 03, 2010 8:11 pm

Police search for Venus Rose Stewart, of St. Joseph County, who they believe was abducted by her estranged husband

April 26, 2010, 5:03PM

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/04/police_searching_for_missing_w.html

COLON TOWNSHIP — Police are searching for a missing St. Joseph County woman who is believed to have been abducted Monday morning by her estranged husband, authorities said.

Venus Rose Stewart, 32, was taken some time between 7:10 and 8:30 a.m. from her parents’ home in the 55000 block of Driftwood Drive in Colon Township, according to Michigan State Police.

Police said Stewart, who was last seen wearing pajamas, may be with her estranged husband, Douglas Harrie Stewart, 29.

“We have information to believe she did not leave voluntarily,” said Lt. Mike Risko of the State Police Post in White Pigeon.

Police said the Stewarts may be traveling in a 1998 silver Mercury sedan with Virginia license plate XNP1453 or a silver full-size Dodge Ram with four doors and Virginia plate XNP1301.

Douglas Stewart lives in Newport News, Va., and police believe the two may be headed there.

Risko said Venus Stewart formerly lived in Newport News but had moved back to Michigan where she was living with her parents and children.

He said Venus Stewart’s father and children were asleep at the house in Colon Township at the time that she is believed to have been abducted.

The lieutenant declined to say Monday what information police have that leads them to believe that Venus Stewart did not leave her parents’ home willingly.

Police described Venus Stewart as a white female, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing approximately 130 pounds with brown eyes and dark hair.

Douglas Stewart is described as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing approximately 250 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information about the Stewarts’ whereabouts to call the White Pigeon post at 269-483-7611 or the State Police Regional Dispatch Center in Rockford at 616-866-6666.




Venus Rose Stewart


Douglas Harrie Stewart

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by FystyAngel on Mon May 03, 2010 8:13 pm

Michigan State Police remain hopeful but concern grows over missing St. Joseph County woman, Venus Stewart

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/04/michigan_state_police_remain_h.html

COLON TOWNSHIP — Police say they remain hopeful Venus Rose Stewart will be found alive.

But each passing day heightens fears that the 32-year-old St. Joseph County woman who investigators say was abducted early Monday won’t return.

“She has pretty much fallen off the grid, just become a ghost,” said Lt. Mike Risko, of the Michigan State Police. “It’s like she’s vanished off the face of the earth. We have had zero tips as to her whereabouts ... We’re going to remain hopeful, but I’ve been in this business 32 years and obviously it’s not looking good.”

Police initially said they believed Stewart’s estranged husband, Douglas, abducted her between 7:10 and 8:30 a.m. Monday outside her parent’s home in the 55000 block of Driftwood Drive in Colon Township. Risko said Douglas Stewart, whom police were able to contact by phone late Monday night in Newport News, Va., where he resides, is a “person of interest” in his wife’s disappearance.

Douglas Stewart declined to comment Wednesday when contacted by the Kalamazoo Gazette and directed questions to his attorney, Jeff Schroder, of Hettinger & Hettinger in Portage. The Gazette was unable to reach Schroder.

St. Joseph County Circuit Court records obtained by the Gazette show Venus Stewart filed three petitions for personal-protection against Douglas Stewart between July 2008 and February. She expressed fear of her husband and concern he would kill her. She told District Judge William Welty in the 2008 request for a protection order that her husband abused her, threatened to take their two daughters, now 3 and 5, and constantly hounded her for sex.

The petitions filed in July 2008 and February were approved by Welty. Another filed in March 2009 was denied.

Kalamazoo County Circuit Court records obtained Wednesday by the Gazette paint a starkly different picture of the relationship.

Douglas Stewart answered his wife’s initial request for a personal-protection order with a request of his own filed in Kalamazoo County in August 2008. In the order, which was approved, he said his wife suffered from an anxiety and agitation disorder “for the better half of our relationship.” He said she was on medicine “to control her mood and anger problems” but had stopped taking the prescriptions.

Douglas Stewart also told the judge that, at that time, Venus Stewart had been sentenced to a year of probation for domestic violence and on one occasion in June 2008 attacked him “with approximately nine blows to the face and also caused harm to my 3 1/2 year old’s head.”

“She has informed me on a daily basis that she will kill me for taking the kids away from her,” Douglas Stewart wrote in 2008. “... I cannot live my life in constant fear that my kids and I are under attack ... I live my life in fear now and I fear the outcome of my children.

“Please help me. Please help her.”

Both protection orders obtained by the Stewarts in 2008 were dismissed that October.
Court records also show that Douglas Stewart filed for divorce from his wife in September 2007 and again in July 2008, but both divorce petitions were eventually dismissed.

Risko said police are continuing to ask for assistance from anyone who may have seen Venus Stewart or a silver mercury sedan with Virginia license plate XNP1453 or silver Dodge Ram pickup truck with Virginia license plate XNP1301. Both vehicles are registered to Douglas Stewart, the lieutenant said, and police had yet to find either as of Wednesday.

Risko also confirmed that, as of Wednesday afternoon, Douglas Stewart was the only person of interest in Venus Stewart’s disappearance.

“This is not what her normal habit would be,” he said. “We do not believe she left of her own free will and so far nothing that we’ve turned up has changed that opinion ... What we’re doing now is turning over every stone we can.”

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by FystyAngel on Mon May 03, 2010 8:15 pm

Police searching wooded area in St. Joseph County for clues in abduction of Venus Rose Stewart

April 30, 2010, 2:51PM

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/04/poilce_searching_wooded_area_i.html

COLON TOWNSHIP — Police investigating the abduction of a St. Joseph County woman are searching a wooded area about a mile from where she was last seen, authorities said Friday.

Michigan State Police troopers and sheriff’s deputies began searching near Adams Lake and Oak Leaf Trail after receiving a tip in the disappearance of Venus Rose Stewart, 32, State Police Lt. Mike Risko said.

Stewart has been missing since Monday and police believe she was abducted some time between 7:10 and 8:30 a.m. outside her parents' house in the 55000 block of Driftwood Drive in Colon Township. Stewart’s estranged husband, Douglas Stewart, 29, of Newport News, Va., is a person of interest in his wife’s abduction, police have said.

Risko said the tip that police acted on Friday was information that a person saw a man near the shoreline of Adams Lake within the time frame that Venus Stewart is believed to have been taken.

“It’s one of the few tips we’ve got so we’re going to act on it,” Risko said. “At this stage of the game, I don’t think we can let anything slide.”

Contact Rex Hall Jr. at rhall@kalamazoogazette.com or 269-388-7784.

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri May 07, 2010 5:50 pm

Police searching for another man in Michigan woman's disappearance

Posted: 4:05 PM May 7, 2010

Michigan State Police continue their search for a missing St. Joseph County woman.

32-year-old Venus Rose Stewart has been missing since last week.

Police think her husband, 29-year-old Douglas Stewart, abducted her from her parents Colon Township home.

Douglas Stewart has been found in Virginia, but police are still looking for Venus.

Thursday, police announced they're also looking for another man who was seen in the area around Adams Lake, which is about a mile from where Venus may have disappeared.

Witnesses say they man was acting suspiciously.

He's described as about 5’7” and between 150 to 160 pounds with brown hair and a mustache.

Anyone with information on this man or Venus Stewart should call the Michigan State Police at 269-483-7611.


http://www.wndu.com/hometop/headlines/93133274.html


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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri May 07, 2010 5:57 pm

Suspicious person in Venus Stewart case

Woman disappeared April 26
Published : Thursday, 06 May 2010, 1:18 PM EDT



COLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - State police have released the sketch of a man who they would like to talk to regarding the disappearance of Venus Stewart.

Police are looking for a man described as white, in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5-foot-5 to 5-8, weighing about 150 to 160 pounds, who was last seen in the area of Adams Lake -- a mile from Stewart's parents' home, where police say the 32-year-old Colon Township woman was last seen.

Venus was abducted April 26, authorities say, from the home in the 55000 block of Driftwood Drive. She was outside getting the mail around 7:30 a.m. and wearing her pajamas. There was evidence of a scuffle in the front yard.

Stewart came from Virginia with her two children to stay with her parents while she and her estranged husband, Douglas, divorced. She recently had been awarded custody of the kids.

Two people say they encountered this suspicious man at Adams Lake the night before Stewart disappeared. The witnesses said it was unusual the man was wet, as if he was swimming. He asked the witnesses for a cigarette.

"Police felt strongly enough about the lead (that) they conducted an all-out search of the lake using sonar equipment," said Lt. Michael Risko of the Michigan State Police. "Their search turned up nothing."

Investigators have yet to look at a swampy area near the lake that has no boat access. Officials hope to proceed once flood waters subside.

This man is not considered a suspect. Witnesses say he was acting suspicious prior to Stewart's disappearance.

Douglas Stewart is the only official "person of interest" in the case, police told 24 Hour News 8, although they say he has a solid alibi for the time his wife disappeared. Douglas said in a phone call from Virginia he is innocent and concerned for Venus.

Police also are investigating another lead. One neighbor reported seeing a pickup truck the morning of Venus' disappearance in a vacant lot nearby her parents' home. The driver later sped off.

Officers traced the tire tracks but won't say if there is any connection to a pickup truck belonging to Douglas.

If you know anything about this case you are asked to call police at (269) 483-7611 or (616) 866-6666.


http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/sw_mich/suspicious-person-in-Venus-Stewart-case
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri May 07, 2010 5:58 pm

Dad finds handwritten notes from Venus

Allegations against estranged husband made

By Jessica Leffler
Published : Thursday, 06 May 2010, 5:03 PM EDT



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - As the investigation into the disappearance of Venus Stewart continues, some handwritten notes have surfaced alleging her estranged husband was involved in inappropriate touching with the couple's children.

24 Hour News 8 obtained a copy of the handwritten notes by Venus detailing her daughter's story. According to the documents, her daughter told Venus about the incident in February 2010.

The notes were provided by Larry McComb, Venus' father, who said he stumbled across the papers in a drawer. February is when Venus left her husband, Douglas Stewart, and moved in with the McCombs in Colon Township, Larry McComb added.

The Schoolcraft Police Department investigated the claims made in the notes. Allegedly, Douglas had one of his daughters touch him inappropriately. A younger sibling was home at the time of the alleged incident, but in a different room.

The Kalamazoo County prosecutor's office told 24 Hour News 8 no charges were filed against Douglas because there was "insufficient evidence."

Venus recently was awarded full custody of the two children.

Doug emphasized how worried he is about his wife in a phone call Wednesday with 24 Hour News 8. He was in Virginia when Venus disappeared and police say his alibi is solid. Doug was unavailable for comment by phone Thursday.


http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/sw_mich/Dad-finds-handwritten-letter-from-Venus
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Mon May 10, 2010 9:36 pm

WalMart receipt raises suspicion in case of missing mother

May 10, 2010 5:31 PM



ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – New details continue to emerge on the search for a St. Joseph County mother.

32-year-old Venus Stewart has been missing since the end of April, when she disappeared from her parent's front yard in Colon Township. Investigators say there were clear signs of a struggle there.

Investigators have now searched the property of Stewart's estranged husband.

Detectives from Michigan recently headed to Virginia, where Douglas Stewart lives, they went through his apartment, and two of his vehicles.

Venus Stewart's mother says she can't let herself draw conclusions from what police found when they searched Douglas Stewart's apartment and vehicles.

“I gotta keep thinking she's with us,” said Therese McComb.

Newschannel 3 obtained the search warrants that detail what police were looking for when they searched, and what they took as potential evidence.

The warrant, signed by a Virginia magistrate, sought out the clothes that Venus was wearing when she disappeared and any DNA evidence. Investigators found an apparent blood stain in Douglas Stewart's pick-up truck, that stain was on the front driver's side door. They also found a receipt from an Ohio WalMart showing a purchase that included gloves, a cap, tarp, and shovel.

Detectives also removed ten items from the Virginia apartment that Douglas used to share with Venus, those items included two computers and a roll of duct tape.

Newschannel 3 is also learning that a neighbor reported seeing a man crouched behind a gray pick-up truck that was parked in an empty lot across from Venus' parents home in Colon around the time that she went missing.

Tire impressions taken from that scene were compared to those on Douglas Stewart's truck and the general tread pattern is a match.


http://www.wwmt.com/articles/margin-1376309-bottom-08in.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Mon May 10, 2010 9:42 pm

MSP: Evidence found vs. Venus' husband

Apparent blood stain found on Doug's truck

Updated: Monday, 10 May 2010, 6:39 PM EDT



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - An apparent blood stain was found in Douglas Stewart's truck, the Michigan State Police reported Monday afternoon.

Police executed search warrants at Stewart's Newport News, Va. home, where he once lived with Venus Stewart, who has been missing since April 26.

She was last seen in front of her parents' Colon Township home around 7:30 a.m., when she went out to the mailbox in her pajamas. Venus had been living with her parents and was in the process of divorcing Douglas, her estranged husband.

The chemical the Michigan State Police Department uses to detect blood read positive on a portion of the truck's interior. The material is now at a lab, being tested.

Police also found a Wal-Mart receipt for a shovel, tarp, cap and gloves, they confirm. The receipt was from April 25 -- the day before Venus disappeared -- from a Wal-Mart in Ohio.

Douglas Stewart's truck was parked on the street a few blocks from his complex, the Newport News police reported -- despite Stewart having two reserved parking spots in the structure at his apartment complex.


http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/sw_mich/CNN-Evidence-found-vs-Venus-husband
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Mon May 10, 2010 9:43 pm

Arrest him already.
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri May 21, 2010 9:53 pm

Michigan police to test Newport News man's truck

Woman's estranged husband from Newport News is "person of interest."

5:47 p.m. EDT, May 21, 2010

NEWPORT NEWS - Michigan State Police are making plans to transport a pickup truck from Newport News to Michigan as part of an investigation into a woman's disappearance last month.

The tires on the 2005 Dodge Ram pickup — located three blocks from the Newport News apartment of the woman's estranged husband — appear to match tread marks found outside the Michigan home where the woman was last seen, Michigan State Police said Friday.


Read more: http://www.dailypress.com/news/crime/dp-nws-michigan-slaying-20100521,0,5491339.story
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri May 28, 2010 8:06 pm

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:33 pm

Daughters of missing woman Venus Stewart in court-ordered hiding

By Kathy Jessup | Kalamazoo Gazette
May 28, 2010, 6:35PM

CENTREVILLE — The two young daughters of a missing Colon woman and her estranged husband, who has been named a “person of interest” in her disappearance, are in court-ordered hiding.

A spokeswoman for the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday that the girls, ages 5 and 3, have been ordered to “a place the court feels is safe” and no specific information is being released on their whereabouts.

Douglas Stewart, the girls’ father and estranged husband of missing Venus Stewart, was in St. Joseph County Family Court Friday with his lawyers to request he be given custody of his daughters while his wife is missing.

Although state police have identified Douglas Stewart as a “person of interest” in the case of his missing wife, he has not been charged with any crime.

A prosecutor’s spokeswoman said the court ordered that Douglas Stewart will have no visitation with the two girls, at least until after a June 17 hearing to review developments in the case.

That’s scheduled for 1 p.m. at the St. Joseph County Courthouse in Centreville.
The two children and their mother were living at the Colon Township home of Venus Stewart’s parents on April 26 when the young mother was reported to have disappeared, wearing her pajamas.

Venus Stewart vanished one month after she was awarded custody of the couple’s children.

Despite a Michigan State Police investigation that reached to Newport News, Va., where Douglas Stewart was living at the time, no trace of the woman has been found.

Authorities have conducted searches of Douglas Stewart’s vehicles and his parents’ home in St. Joseph County’s Leonidas Township.

The results of forensic evidence testing have not yet been completed.

The girls had remained in the care of their maternal grandparents , Larry and Therese McComb, after their mother went missing. The McCombs said they had put the girls “in hiding” after their mother’s disappearance, saying they believed Douglas Stewart would try to take them.

Douglas Stewart had filed a petition May 14 seeking custody of the girls, citing their mother’s unknown whereabouts.

But the minors subsequently became wards of the court when the St. Joseph County Department of Human Services filed a child protective services petition, asking the court to make DHS responsible for the girls.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/05/stewart_daughters_in_court-ord.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:57 pm

the girls would be safe if they locked up their father already - why are they waiting so long??? arrest him already...
Why should they lock up the girls??

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:07 pm

I agree Tish. The sooner they arrest him, the better. They found a bloodstain in his truck and if they have proof that he was in Ohio around the time Venus disappeared, it is very plausible that he went to Michigan and grabbed her. I sure the heck hope they don't give him custody of those girls. It's bad enough that Josh Powell has custody of his missing wife's kids right now.
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:28 pm

Is there a Doug Stewart impersonator?
MSP wants help with April 25-26 timeframe

Updated: Tuesday, 01 Jun 2010, 11:21 PM EDT
Jessica Leffler



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - As the investigation into the April 26 abduction of Venus Stewart from outside her parents' Colon Township home continues, police now want help determining who impersonated Doug Stewart in Newport News, Va., in that same time frame.

The Michigan State Police is looking for anyone with information on "a person or persons who impersonated Doug Stewart in the Newport News, Virginia area between" April 25 and 26. Police also ask anyone who had contact with Doug in that time frame to contact them.

Venus Stewart, Doug's estranged wife and a 32-year-old mother of two, was last seen wearing pajamas. She was taken from her parents' home between 7:10 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., police say. She has not been seen since.

Police have two reasons they believe there is an impersonator: investigators can place Doug at a Walmart in Ohio the night before Venus disappeared, and there is a witness who can place Doug in Michigan the day she was abducted.

Police once told 24 Hour News 8 that Doug's alibi was solid. But now, they have doubts.

"So, his alibi being in Virginia doesn't hold water," said Lt. Mike Risko of the Michigan State Police. "He was not in Virginia at that time. It was also recently learned last week that we also now have him in Michigan the morning she disappeared."

24 Hour News 8 also learned investigators believe the impersonator was wearing Doug's clothes and had a hood over his head, and that the impersonator even paid one of Doug's bills.

"Well, we believe he was dressed similar to what Doug would have been wearing -- a hoodie, a sweatshirt with a dark ball cap and a pair of sunglasses," Risko said.

"Someone in Newport News, Virginia -- during the time period that Venus came up missing -- was purporting to be Doug Stewart. We know that's not the case. What we're looking for (is) that person or persons that were impersonating Doug Stewart in that time frame."

Last week, a judge ruled Doug could not have custody nor visit his children with Venus. He is described by police as the only "person of interest" in Venus' disappearance.

"Our policy is, we're not going to call him a suspect until we have an arrest warrant in our hands," Risko said.

The person connected with the crime could face charges for being an accessory, police say. If you have information, call the Michigan State Police at (269) 483-7811, or in the Newport News area, call (888) 582-5887.


http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/sw_mich/Is-there-a-Doug-Stewart-impersonator
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:13 pm

The person connected with the crime could face charges for being an accessory, police say.
The person pretending to be Doug Stewart should be charged as an accessory. He could have been paid a lot of money to impersonate Doug and may not have been aware of Doug's plans, but he should still be charged as an accessory since he didn't come forward after it was all over the news that Doug's wife was missing.
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:40 pm

Judge postpones Doug Stewart hearing
But Doug Stewart again denied visitation with kids

Updated: Thursday, 17 Jun 2010, 5:26 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 17 Jun 2010, 11:13 AM EDT
By Dani Carlson

CENTREVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - A judge ruled against the only "person of interest" in the case of a missing Colon Township mother: her estranged husband, Doug Stewart.

Judge Thomas Shumaker decided Thursday to deny Stewart visitation with his two children.

"At this point, I'm going to continue to deny supervised visits," he said in court; a ruling that was met with excitement by Venus Stewart's family and friends.

Shumaker wants to see what is discovered and decided about allegations Doug Stewart abused his two children, who are currently living with Venus' parents, Larry and Therese McComb.

Although Doug's attorneys say their client wants to gain full custody of the children, all custody hearings have been postponed until the abuse allegations are resolved.

On May 28, Doug was denied visitation rights to his two children. At that time, a Child Protective Services worker cited concerns with placing the children in Doug's care following allegations from one of the girls of inappropriate sexual contact. Charges were never filed in connection with those allegations.

Venus, 32, was abducted outside her parents' home in Colon Township on April 26 and has not been seen since.

"Can we ask you a few questions about this?" asked 24 Hour News 8.

Answered Doug: "Not right now, I'm afraid."

Venus' friends and families attended the hearing and prayed inside, before the ruling. Some of them picketed outside to raise awareness about the case.

Many are holding on to hope that Venus will be home soon.

"We believe she's alive," Sue Billings said. "That's the hope we're continuing to have. Her parents are hoping that too, of course."


http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/sw_mich/Doug-Stewart-in-court-over-child-allegations
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:58 pm

Stewart Denied Custody

Posted Friday June 18, 2010

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY (WKZO) -- Doug Stewart has been ordered to face a civil hearing to determine if child abuse and neglect allegations leveled at him are true. In the meantime, a St. Joseph County Probate judge has denied his request for supervised visitation with his two young daughters.

Stewart’s attorney claims the allegations were manufactured by Venus Stewart to win a custody case. Doug remains the one and only person of interest in the disappearance of his estranged wife.

Venus Stewart was awarded custody of the two children just a week before she was abducted from the front of her parent’s home. Members of her family were happy with this latest ruling. State Police say they continue to gather new evidence and are still waiting for lab results on other evidence before deciding whether to pursue criminal charges against Stewart.


http://new.wincountry.com/news/articles/2010/jun/18/stewart-denied-custody/
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Piper on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:52 am

Douglas Stewart charged with murder

June 23, 2010 10:03 AM

FULTON, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Authorities have charged 29-year-old Douglas Stewart in the disappearance of his estranged wife, Venus.

Stewart faces one count of open murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

He'll be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in St. Joseph County.

Venus Stewart has been missing since late April. Her husband has long been the only suspect in the case.

He was arrested Tuesday night near his parents' home in Fulton.

http://www.wwmt.com/news/charged-1378156-stewart-douglas.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:21 am

WOW - I'm glad to see that they have finally moved on this case. I was beginning to wonder if was going to turn into a Stacy Peterson fiasco... At least his children will be safe once he's behind bars.

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by KariBear on Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:31 pm

Sheesh! It's about flipping time they arrested him!

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:46 pm

Here is an update of the article that Piper posted earlier.

Douglas Stewart charged with murder

June 23, 2010 10:16 AM



CENTREVILLE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The man who is under suspicion for the disappearance of his wife has been charged with murder.

The last time anyone saw Venus Stewart was late April.

She vanished from her parents house in Colon Township.

Police have been keeping a close eye on her estranged husband Douglas Stewart.

He claimed to be in Virginia at the time of her disappearance, but now he's under arrest and has been charged with murder.

Police say that they ramped up the investigation after an impersonator was discovered. Investigators think that the man posed as Stewart to give him an alibi.


http://www.wwmt.com/news/charged-1378156-stewart-douglas.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Estee on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:16 pm

You can run, but you can't hide...Hope he caves and gives the up the whereabouts of her body...
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:18 pm

Venus Stewart is dead, authorities say, and Douglas Stewart is charged with murder (with video)

Rex Hall Jr. | Kalamazoo Gazette
June 23, 2010, 1:06 PM

VIDEO: Venus Stewart press conference



CENTREVILLE — Authorities are convinced Venus Stewart is dead and their No. 1 priority now is finding her body, St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough said this morning.

McDonough spoke at a press conference where he outlined the murder charges against Douglas Stewart, Venus’ estranged husband.

Based on information investigators learned from numerous sources, including from an acquaintance of Douglas Stewart’s who is cooperating, McDonough said: “We’re convinced Venus is deceased.”

Venus Stewart, 32, has been missing since April 26, when authorities say she was abducted from outside her parents’ home in Colon Township.

Police have described Douglas Stewart, 29, as a person of interest since the early stages of the investigation.

He was arrested Tuesday evening on charges of open murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder. He is expected to be arraigned in St. Joseph County District Court this afternoon.

McDonough said today that the “icing on the cake” for investigators was finding and interviewing on Tuesday an acquaintance of Douglas Stewart.

The man, identified in court papers only as co-conspirator Richard Spencer, has been “tremendously cooperative,” McDonough said.

Spencer has not been charged with a crime but McDonough said he expects to charge Spencer at some point. McDonough said he hadn’t yet charged Spencer because of he has been so cooperative.

McDonough declined to given any additional information about Spencer, including his age, where he lives or how he knows Stewart.

Douglas and Venus Stewart and their two young daughters moved to Newport News, Va., in 2009.

Earlier this year, Venus Stewart obtained an order of protection against Douglas Stewart and moved with their daughters back to Michigan. They were living with her parents in St. Joseph County while Douglas Stewart remained in Virginia.

Douglas Stewart has denied any involvement in Venus Stewart’s disappearance and had told police he was in Virginia on the day that she went missing.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/06/venus_stewart_is_dead_authorit.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:26 pm

Details of allegations against Doug Stewart released

June 22, 2010 6:08 PM



ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – New information is emerging about why the estranged husband of Venus Stewart is facing child abuse charges.

Venus was last seen in April, her estranged husband, Doug Stewart, is the only person of interest in her disappearance.

Doug was recently ordered to stand trial for a separate case involving one of the couple's two daughters.

Court records that became public Tuesday afternoon explain why the judge thought there was enough evidence to authorize the prosecutor's petition.

Cameras were not permitted at the recent hearing, and the specific abuse allegations against Doug were not known until the court records became public.

The first says the Department of Human Services received a complaint regarding inappropriate contact between Doug and one of his daughters in late February.

The second says that daughter had a forensic interview that determined her statements were consistent and credible.

During the recent hearing, Stewart's attorney denied the allegations and requested a jury trial. She also requested a change of venue to Kalamazoo County, something the judge denied.

The judge wrote “all factors show residence of the children was and is St. Joseph County, also there are Department of Human Service records that Venus Stewart was receiving benefits for her two girls from St. Joseph County DHS. There can be no other ruling by the court except the venue is in St. Joseph County and the children have and do reside there.”

Doug Stewart has a pre-trial hearing set for July 1st. His attorney had argued for a change of venue because of adverse publicity, but the judge wrote that the county prosecutor wants to try and seat an impartial jury in St. Joseph County before moving the case.


http://www.wwmt.com/articles/style-1378122-span-margin.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:29 pm

Venus' brother: Doug Stewart lost way
Dustin Jasper said his sister made peace with God

Updated: Wednesday, 23 Jun 2010, 6:18 PM EDT
By Marc Thompson

COLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Venus Stewart's brother told 24 Hour News 8 the family is devastated with the realization she'll never be coming home.

Her estranged husband, Doug Stewart, was arrested and charged with her premeditated murder. She vanished outside her parents' home the morning of April 26.

Speaking for the family, Dustin Jasper said they kept hoping she would be found alive. Then, police told them a co-conspirator named Richard Spencer was cooperating with investigators.

"I just ask everyone to pray for (Venus' family) as we go through this tough time," he said. "Mr. Spencer confessed to police and has been cooperative, I guess, and giving them everything they need to know."

Jasper said Spencer is from Delaware and said Spencer met Doug Stewart through Xbox on-line gaming, but has no idea why Spencer decided to participate in the plot. He added he spent some time with his brother-in-law and Spencer, but at some point, Jasper said, Stewart lost his way.

"It seemed like it was just one drama after another," he told 24 Hour News 8. "If he would have just been honest with my sister from the get-go she would have accepted him for who he was, you know."

After the couple split, Venus went back to Virginia with Doug exclusively for their children. "They wouldn't be safe with him. She wanted to be there to protect them," Jasper said.

He takes comfort in the fact that even amid trying times, Venus made her peace with God. "She did ask Jesus into her heart and she got baptized in our church, so I know my sister's in heaven."

In recent days, Jasper said, his grandparents were getting calls from someone pretending to be Venus. He believes it was just another attempt by Doug Stewart to throw police off his trail.


http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/sw_mich/Venus-brother-Doug-Stewart-lost-way
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:34 pm

If the allegations are true, it looks like Doug is not only a murderer, but also a pedophile who abused his own daughter. This guy makes me sick. I don't understand why someone who met him through Xbox on-line gaming would agree to impersonate him in Virginia so he could travel to Michigan and murder his wife.
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:56 pm

'Why did Mommy leave us?' Young daughters, parents struggle to cope with loss

Updated: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 8:27 AM

CENTREVILLE — Her three-year-old daughter recognizes her mother’s picture when it flashes across the TV screen in a news report about her disappearance.

Then her attention is drawn to pictures of horses and she's back in her toddler's world, where life is safe and uncluttered.

Her sister, 5, is not so easily diverted, family friends say.

"She asks, 'Why did Mommy leave us?' and at first her grandparents told her their mother had gone away for a time with their daddy," explained Brenda Lanning, of Bronson, a long-time friend of Larry and Therese McComb, Venus Stewart’s parents.

But as time passed, Lanning said, the answer to the five-year-old's reoccurring question changed.

"Finally, when she kept asking why mommy didn't come back, they told her 'Daddy wouldn't let her'," said Lanning.

Lanning and Connie O'Rourke, of Sturgis, were at the McComb's rural Colon Township home Monday night when Michigan State Police troopers delivered the crushing news. Douglas Stewart, Venus' husband and father of their two girls, was being arrested for allegedly murdering his estranged wife.

Investigators told the family that despite the fact they had not found Venus Stewart's body, they believed they had put together compelling evidence, including a statement from a potential accomplice that Venus Stewart was dead and her husband allegedly killed her.

Lanning said police explained they had found the man — identified as Richard Spencer — who they believe posed as Douglas Stewart, giving Stewart an alibi where he lived in Newport News, Va., while Stewart allegedly drove to Michigan, snatched his wife outside her parents' home April 26 and killed her.

According to Lanning, Douglas Stewart was said to have met Spencer through online video gaming.

O'Rourke and Lanning said that as weeks passed with no trace of Venus, friends and family members fought to retain hope she would return.

"We always said there's always hope," Lanning said. "Then last night the officers came and said they were arresting Doug for murder. That hit everyone hard.

"Oh God, I can't believe she's gone."

Friends describe Venus Stewart as "confident" and "strong-willed," having earned a degree in business.

But according to O'Rourke, "she just wanted to be a momma."

Despite court records showing the couple had a tenuous marriage, Lanning said Venus called off a 2009 divorce a month before it was to become final so she wouldn't have to share parenting time for their daughters.

Friends say the missing woman's family has been buoyed by community support, ranging from prayers and financial donations to helping with searches for Venus. One retailer provided material at half-price for a new security fence around the McCombs' home.

But Lanning and O'Rourke say the McCombs are struggling emotionally and financially. Therese quit her 19-year job at a downtown Sturgis café after Venus disappeared so she could care for her two granddaughters, O'Rourke said.

"Now that Doug (Stewart) is in a safe spot, Larry (McComb) needs to find a job," Lanning said. "He's an over-the-road truck driver, but he wants local work that won't keep him away from home."


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/06/why_did_mommy_leave_us_young_d.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:36 pm

Venus died trying to protect her children, I'm sure if we could talk to her now she would tell us it was worth it sadly. The judge didn't want to listen to her complaints that her children were in danger - and I know there was speculation that Venus was only saying that her girls were molested in order to keep this monster away, as a revenge tactic but as it turns out, her allegations were backed up forensically. She literally gave her life up for her daughters safety and I hope that her parents let those little girls know that as they get older that mommy was a hero for them. I hope that some financial help is given to help take care of these girls as it sounds like the grandparents are struggling financially. I'm sure that anything the monster owned will be sold and the proceeds given to the grandparents but who knows how much that will be? Did Venus have any life insurance at all?

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:25 am

Tish, what you wrote is so true.....this mother literally gave her life for her children. Sad
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:44 pm

Dozens pray for Venus Stewart and her family during Sunday's vigil

Updated: Monday, June 28, 2010, 11:13 AM
Gabrielle Russon
Kalamazoo Gazette



COLON — For weeks, Dustin Jasper prayed that his younger sister, Venus Stewart, would come home safely.

But in a way, the missing woman has already returned home, Jasper told the nearly 60 people who gathered Sunday in downtown Colon to pray for Stewart, who has been missing since April 26.

“I’m glad her home is with you, Lord,” said Jasper, of Sturgis. “I ask that you give her a hug every day until I can see her again.”

Stewart, a 32-year-old mother of two young daughters, is presumed to be dead after police say she was abducted from her parents’ home in Colon Township. Her estranged husband, Douglas Stewart, was arrested last week and charged with open murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder.

In an emotional vigil Sunday, dozens of people prayed and lit candles on the steps of the Colon Banking Center. They bowed their heads, praying for Venus Stewart and her two daughters.

“Please protects these girls. Surround them with angels,” one woman said during an impromptu prayer.

Others prayed for Stewart’s grieving parents, Therese and Larry McComb, who did not attend.

“Lord, wrap your arms around the family,” said Pastor Don Smith, of Firm Foundation Ministries of Centreville, who baptized Venus Stewart last year.

Some prayed for answers to what happened on the morning when Stewart went to mail a letter outside her parents’ home, and then disappeared. They did not mention Douglas Stewart by name.

Many people wore ribbons on their shirts: A purple ribbon had the words: “Where is Venus?” on it and symbolized domestic violence. A blue ribbon represented child abuse.

The ribbons “would make Venus smile from heaven,” Smith said.

After the gathering, Jasper stood on the steps, holding a white candle, and thanked everyone for coming.

A photograph of Stewart — a pretty brunette with her bangs almost in her eyes, her lips pressed together in a smile — was behind him on a card table.

His family will plan a funeral service, although they are still waiting to see if authorities recover her body, Jasper said.

“We’ll give her a proper ceremony she deserves,” he said.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/06/post_63.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:43 am

Parents say Venus Stewart might still be alive if estranged husband was prosecuted for alleged child molestation

Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 11:40 PM
Kathy Jessup | Kalamazoo Gazette

COLON — Venus Stewart’s parents believe she might still be alive if her estranged husband had been prosecuted for alleged inappropriate sexual contact with one of the couple’s daughters.

Larry and Therese McComb are leveling criticism at the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for declining to authorize a request by the Schoolcraft Police Department in March for criminal sexual conduct charges against Douglas Stewart.

Within days, the McCombs say, Venus Stewart was snatched outside their rural Colon Township home, where the 32-year-old was staying with her two daughters, allegedly in fear of her estranged husband whom she had left behind in Virginia.

Now Douglas Stewart is lodged in the St. Joseph County Jail, charged with murdering his wife, even though she has not been found, and is facing a civil action over the alleged molestation. A hearing on evidence against him in the murder charge is scheduled for Thursday morning in Centreville.

Carrie Klein, chief assistant prosecutor for Kalamazoo County, declined to specifically comment on the McCombs’ criticism that it did not authorize charges for the alleged sexual misconduct, saying officials don’t wish to add to the family’s grief.

But according to Klein, her office reviewed the molestation allegation and concluded “there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction.” Klien said there was no corroboration for the child’s story and that the child had spoken to adults on “more than one occasion when she didn’t disclose” the allegation.

According to St. Joseph County court records, Venus Stewart had withdrawn a Kalamazoo County divorce action and was living in Newport News, Va., with Douglas Stewart and their two daughters in February.

Records indicate Venus told Virginia authorities one of her daughters casually described inappropriate touching by her father during a drive to school one day. According to Larry McComb, his daughter said Virginia authorities said they didn’t have criminal jurisdiction because the child indicated the alleged behavior had occurred in Schoolcraft, prior to the move to Virginia.

“Venus hid in a motel room for the night with the girls and police escorted her to the airport and put her on a plane to come back here,” Larry McComb said. “She immediately went to the police chief in Schoolcraft and the chief, a child psychologist and Children’s Protective Services all got involved.”

Schoolcraft Chief Bryan Campbell said he found the child’s story “believable” and requested that the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office charge Douglas Stewart, who was still in Virginia.

“Our policy is that on a matter this serious, we would always forward the information to the prosecutor,” Campbell said. “I would say the victim was believable, but I also know from experience the many factors the prosecutor’s office must consider.

“I didn’t get the feeling that the mother was bringing this charge to get back at the father,” Campbell added. “The impression I got was she was concerned about the safety of the kids.”

Campbell, who spent 25 years with the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department before retiring and being named Schoolcraft chief in 2005, said standards for authorizing criminal charges can vary from one county to another. “One may authorize and another may not, based on the same information,” he said.

Klein disagreed, saying charging standards are fairly uniform across the state. But she deferred questions to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office on why it authorized a criminal sexual conduct complaint against Douglas Stewart after Kalamazoo County declined.

The Kalamazoo Gazette was unable to reach St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough or his chief assistant, Charles Herman, for comment.

The separate CSC charge against Douglas Stewart in St. Joseph County Family Court is a civil, rather than criminal, matter. That’s because the allegation is believed to have occurred in Kalamazoo County, but the youngster now lives in St. Joseph County.

Douglas Stewart, who has denied the CSC charge, has demanded a jury trial at which six jurors will determine the case based on the “preponderance of the evidence” standard for civil matters, rather than the more stringent “no reasonable doubt” standard for criminal matters.

In their grief, the McClouds say they’re looking for explanations, believing Venus would have returned from her early-morning trip to the mailbox the morning of April 26 if Douglas Stewart had already been charged with CSC.

Larry McCloud breaks down when he recalls his last attempt to reassure his daughter.
“’When I’m dead and gone, you remember this conversation’ she told me. And the next day, she was gone,” he said.

Campbell called the case “the ultimate tragedy involving domestic discourse.”

“Hindsight is a great thing,” the Schoolcraft police chief said. “I think everything was done that could have been done. You always look at whether the system failed a person.

“The real bottom line is, if a person is going to commit the ultimate, worst crime, it may just be a matter of time.”


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/06/parents_say_venus_stewart_migh.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:26 pm

Doug Stewart headed to trial

July 01, 2010 4:17 PM



CENTREVILLE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A judge has ruled that Douglas Stewart will go to trial for the death of his wife, Venus Stewart.

Venus went missing at the end of April from her parent's home near Colon.

The decision to send Stewart to trial came after a day of sometimes emotional, sometimes shocking testimony.

Newschannel 3 had previously learned that investigators tracked down a man they say had agreed to impersonate Doug Stewart in Virginia, while Stewart himself came to St. Joseph County to kill his wife. That man testified in court on Thursday, he is from Delaware and told the court about meeting Doug Stewart and says he learned of Stewart's plan to kill his wife.

"Really close, like best friend or almost like an older brother," said Richard Spencer.

Spencer says he and Stewart met over a video-gaming system in the summer of 2008, they didn't meet in person until April of 2010 when Spencer went from his parent's home in Delaware to Stewart's apartment in Virginia.

As the two men hung out, Spencer says Stewart spoke of his troubled marriage and how he wanted Venus gone.

"There's nothing in this world that he wouldn't do to protect his kids, his wife was harming them, she was lying," said Spencer. "For awhile now he's been deciding when to do this, saying he's going to go kill his wife."

Spencer said Stewart repeatedly asked him to be his alibi so he could come to Michigan and kill his wife. He said he rejected the idea several times before deciding to do it. He says Stewart supplied him with the clothes to wear.

"Had the shoes, socks, pants, hoodie, cell-phone, his house key, his credit card," said Spencer.

Spencer was given immunity for his testimony on Thursday, which means what he said on Thursday can't be used against him, but it does not mean he won't be criminally charged.

Also called to testify on Thursday was Venus' father, Larry McComb.

When the judge asked McComb to identify Douglas Stewart, McComb looked directly at him and said, “Hi Doug, murdered anyone lately?”

The judge told McComb that he would be held in contempt of court if he said that again.

McComb said that it would be difficult, as he is partial.

McComb described Stewart as “controlling” in his relationship with Venus. He continued to stare at Stewart for several minutes during his testimony.


http://www.wwmt.com/articles/margin-1378472-style-span.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:46 pm

Spencer's testimony combined with the evidence should make this a pretty easy case for the prosecution. Spencer said Stewart had a premade spot made for Venus to bury her. The first time Stewart tried to carry out the plan he bailed after being pulled over at four in the morning knowing the police had a record of his whereabouts. A week later, he tried again and called Spencer on April 26 after 8 in the morning and said, "Hey, it's done." According to Spencer, Stewart lured Venus outside by calling on the phone pretending to be the mailman with a delivery.

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:30 pm

you know - as has been speculated in Kyron Horman's disappearance, here we have another "gaming" case pop up - Doug met his co-conspirator (IMO) or impersonator on a gaming site - this gaming stuff is popping up more and more...

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:23 pm

Tish, this gaming stuff is starting to pop up quite a bit. Many people let gaming consume their lives. I can't get into online gaming too much. I need to be able to walk away from the computer at a moment's notice. I'd much rather play the old Atari games than something where other players require you to be online for hours at a time. If I did play online and somebody asked me to be their alibi while they committed murder, I would obviously contact the proper authorities. Unfortunately, Richard Spencer decided it was a good idea to help Doug out. I hope he does prison time over this.
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by sitemama on Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:55 pm

OMG J4a, I am addicted to the games on this site, and I must say a few of them have consumed my life. On the Pyramid Solitaire, if my score is getting pretty high, I can't stop to even answer the phone if it rings.

BTW, I actually turned down a cookout at my daughter's tonite because I was in the middle of a game. LOL

However, I don't think I would kill anyone.

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:23 pm

I like the games on this site mama. I can play for anywhere from ten minutes to an hour and then walk away. I can't see myself turning down a cookout for a game, but you might not enjoy cookouts as much as I do lol.

Stuff like war games on the Xbox or World of Warcraft where other players depend on you is a whole different level. Warcraft is one of the worst. Many people spend 12-20 hours a day playing it and sometimes lose their jobs and marriages over it.

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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:54 pm

I would like to hear more of Richard's testimony. I'll see if I can find anything. I would like to know if Doug killed her in broad daylight and then threw her in the truck, if he forced her into the truck and then killed her, or if he somehow held her captive in the truck while driving and then killed her somewhere else.

I wish someone would have heard Venus scream or that she would have landed a lucky shot and got away like Candice Moncayo did when she got away from John Gardner. I feel really bad for Venus's family and I don't think I would have been able to show as much restraint as Venus's father did in court.
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:32 pm

Alleged accomplice lays out murder plot: "It's done," witness says Douglas Stewart told of his wife's killing

Updated: Friday, July 02, 2010, 9:02 AM



CENTREVILLE — Douglas Stewart drove to Michigan twice in April with plans to kill his estranged wife, according to Richard Spencer.

He changed his mind during the first trip when a police officer stopped him en route, Stewart’s alleged co-conspirator testified Thursday.

A little more than a week later, following Stewart’s second drive trip to Michigan, 32-year-old Venus Stewart was dead.

“He calls me and says, ‘Hey, it’s done,’” Spencer testified of the morning of April 26, the day police allege Venus Stewart was abducted from the front yard of her parents’ St. Joseph County home.

“He said he was able to get her into a headlock and that a drop of blood came from her nose, that it hit the concrete,” Spencer said.

After hearing testimony Thursday from Spencer and two other witnesses, a judge ordered Douglas Stewart to stand trial on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder.

Police allege the 29-year-old abducted and killed Venus Stewart, then disposed of her body, which has not been found. He faces up to life in prison on each count, if convicted, and is being held on $4 million cash/surety bond.

Also testifying at Thursday’s preliminary examination in St. Joseph County District Court were Venus Stewarts’ father, Larry McComb, and Michigan State Police Trooper Aaron Steensma, the first officer to respond to the McCombs’ residence April 26.



“Hi Doug. Murdered anyone lately?” McComb, when asked to point out Stewart, said from the witness stand. The comment drew a rebuke and threat of jail for contempt of court from Judge Jeff Middleton.

It was Spencer, as the key prosecution witness, who was on the stand for most of Thursday’s hearing.

Under questioning from St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough, the 20-year-old college student from Bear, Del., testified that he and Stewart met in 2008 through Xbox Live, an online gaming service, and at times played military-themed games like “Call of Duty” and “Halo 3” for six to 10 hours a day.

The two developed a tight bond and Spencer said he considered Stewart his “best friend.” They spent “a couple thousand hours” talking, Spencer testified, including about the divorce Stewart was going through with his wife in Michigan.

Spencer said he and Stewart had less contact beginning in mid 2009 after Stewart told him he was getting back with his wife and moving to Virginia. But they started speaking again on a more consistent basis in February when Stewart contacted him on Xbox Live with a message that his wife had “all the sudden left and his kids were gone.”

“He believed that she ... planned this all out, that she just wanted to make him feel like they were getting back together and then take all the money and go back to Michigan,” Spencer testified.



Spencer said he drove from Delaware to Newport News, Va., to visit Stewart during the first week of April, when Stewart first mentioned plans to kill his estranged wife. Spencer said Steward asked him to be “his alibi” and “pretend to be me.”

“He told me he was ... planning this for awhile now, deciding when he was going to do this, that he was going to kill his wife,” Spencer testified.

Spencer said he initially declined to take part but changed his mind when, near the end of his stay in Virginia, Stewart was informed his wife was trying to get custody of their two daughters and that Children’s Protective Services investigators were looking into allegations he had molested one of the girls. Stewart had claimed that it was Venus Stewart who was abusive to their daughters, Spencer said.

“He was disgusted by it,” Spencer recounted. “... He was like, ‘This is why my wife is mentally hurting my kids and physically hurting my kids.’”

Once he agreed to help, Spencer said Stewart told him he knew the structure of the McCombs’ Driftwood Drive residence in Colon Township and had a “premade spot for Venus to bury her.”

The two met again April 15 in Bethesda, Md., where Stewart gave Spencer his credit card, keys to his apartment and vehicle, clothes and a paper that told Spencer when to do certain things, such as going to a Wendy’s restaurant to use Stewart’s credit card.

Spencer said the plan was foiled, though, when Stewart was pulled over by a police officer while on his way to Michigan, which would have provided a record of his whereabouts had he gone through then with his plan to kill his wife.

Spencer said he mailed Stewart’s items back to him but that the two met again April 25 in Bethesda, where Stewart again gave him the items and similar instructions to use his credit card, stay at his Newport News residence and make a payment on Stewart’s account at an attorney’s office.

Spencer testified that early on April 26, Stewart called and asked him to retrieve Venus Stewart’s cell phone number from his own cell phone. He said that later, Stewart told him he had called the McComb residence and pretended to be the mailman with a package for his wife.

Stewart said he confronted Venus Stewart after she walked out of her parents’ house and that she “screamed one time and tried to fight” before he put her in a headlock and abducted her, Spencer testified.

Spencer said Stewart called again a few minutes later and told him he had to pick a new place to bury his wife because “there were people around” the spot he had picked out.

In the following days, Spencer said he and Stewart communicated only through Xbox Live because Stewart feared his phone conversations were being recorded.

“I asked him before, ‘Was it all worth it?,” Spencer testified. “He said to protect his kids and give them a future, it was.”

Authorities have said they plan to charge Spencer for his alleged role. He was given immunity from having Thursday’s testimony used against him in subsequent hearings. His Michigan attorney, David Moore, told Middleton during Thursday’s hearing that an offer by McDonough’s office that isn’t yet official calls for Spencer to be charged with manslaughter and to serve a jail sentence.

Stewart, meanwhile, is scheduled to be arraigned July 19 in St. Joseph County Circuit Court on the murder and conspiracy charges.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/07/alleged_accomplice_lays_out_mu.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:23 pm

Police to search for Venus Stewart in northeastern St. Joseph County

Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 7:53 AM

COLON TOWNSHIP — Police this week plan to comb areas of northeastern St. Joseph County for the body of Venus Rose Stewart, authorities said Monday.

The 32-year-old mother of two has been missing since April 26. Michigan State Police investigators are convinced she’s dead but police have yet to locate her body. Her estranged husband has been charged in her death.

“We’re planning on a search, and if we don’t find her this time, there will be more searches as we go along as tips come in,” State Police Lt. Mike Risko said.

The search for Stewart will be focused on two large, densely wooded areas, as well as near Stewart’s parents’ Driftwood Drive home in Colon Township and the home of Douglas H. Stewart’s parents in Leonidas Township, Risko said.

He said the search is being conducted based on tips and evidence police obtained of Doug Stewart’s cellular phone usage at the time Venus Stewart disappeared and when investigators allege he was in Michigan.

Risko said police have retrieved Doug Stewart’s Dodge pickup truck. They plan to send the vehicle’s tires to a state police crime lab to compare the tires to tire tracks investigators found at the scene of Venus Stewart’s disappearance.

Doug Stewart is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail on charges of open murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premediated murder. He is scheduled to be in court Monday for an arraignment.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/07/police_to_search_for_venus_ste.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:54 pm

Police: Search for Venus Stewart's body to be conducted Thursday

Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 12:48 PM

COLON TOWNSHIP — Police and FBI agents plan to search areas of St. Joseph County on Thursday for the body of Venus Rose Stewart, police said.

Stewart, 32, has been missing since April 26 and Michigan State Police investigators have said they are convinced she is dead. Her estranged husband, Douglas H. Stewart, 29, has been charged in her death.

State Police Lt. Mike Risko said 20 to 30 officers, including state troopers, four K-9 units, FBI agents and St. Joseph County sheriff’s deputies, will take part in the search. it is expected to last most of the day and focus on areas in the county’s northeastern corner near Venus Stewart’s parents’ home in Colon Township and Doug Stewart’s parents’ home in Leonidas Township.

Risko said one of the areas investigators plan to comb is 100 acres that is densely wooded and swampy. He said he suspects investigators will battle the heat and rain during the search as Thursday’s forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms and a high of 89 degrees.

“It’s going to be very hot and sticky and we’re going to have to watch our people pretty closely,” Risko said.

Police have said that the search is being conducted based on tips police have received and evidence from Douglas Stewart’s cellular phone usage at the time Venus Stewart disappeared and when investigators allege he was in Michigan.

Douglas Stewart is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail on charges of open murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premediated murder. He is scheduled to be in St. Joseph County Circuit Court Monday for an arraignment.

This isn't the first search for Venus. Volunteers met at Colon City Park in Colon, Mich., to search for her in May.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/07/police_search_for_venus_stewar.html


Last edited by Justice4all on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:35 pm

Search for Venus Stewart proves 'unsuccessful' with no signs of the missing woman

Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 6:29 PM
Kalamazoo Gazette staff



COLON TOWNSHIP — Police and FBI agents searched areas of St. Joseph County on Thursday for the body of Venus Rose Stewart.

State Police Lt. John Slenk said the search for Stewart's body on Thursday proved to be "an unsuccessful trip."

He said police checked three different areas during the operation. "We'll try again," Slenk said.

Stewart, 32, has been missing since April 26 and Michigan State Police investigators have said they are convinced she is dead. Her estranged husband, Douglas H. Stewart, 29, has been charged in her death.

State Police Lt. Mike Risko said 20 to 30 officers, including state troopers, four K-9 units, FBI agents and St. Joseph County sheriff’s deputies, took part in the search.

Volunteers also met at Colon City Park in Colon, Mich., to search for her in May.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/07/search_for_venus_stewart_prove.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:47 pm

Douglas Stewart bound over to circuit court

July 19, 2010 7:27 AM



CENTREVILLE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A man accused of murdering his wife and then hiding her body was in court Monday.

Doug Stewart was arraigned in circuit court as he prepares for his upcoming murder trial.

A status conference on the case is also scheduled for Monday.

Police say Stewart drove from Virginia to Colon Township, kidnapped his wife Venus Stewart from her parent's home, murdered her and then buried the body.

Officers held another mass search last week but came up empty.

Prosecutors say they have a strong case against Doug Stewart even if they can't find his wife's body.

Doug Stewart has pleaded not guilty to murder/conspiracy charges. His trial will begin on Friday, Oct. 29.


http://www.wwmt.com/articles/newschannel-1379166-centreville-stewart.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

Post by Justice4all on Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:55 pm

Nov. 1 trial set for Douglas Stewart for allegedly murdering estranged wife Venus Stewart

Updated: Monday, July 19, 2010, 2:56 PM
Gabrielle Russon | Kalamazoo Gazette

CENTREVILLE — Douglas Stewart, who is accused of murdering his estranged wife, entered a not guilty plea Monday in St. Joseph County Circuit Court.

Stewart, 29, has been charged with open murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder in connection with the disappearance of Venus Stewart, who has been missing since April 26.

Douglas Stewart faces up to life in prison on each count, if convicted, and remains lodged in the county jail on a $4 million bond. His trial is scheduled for Nov. 1, with jury selection to begin Oct. 29.

Police have said they believe Venus Stewart is dead, but they have yet to find her body.

Authorities and volunteers have searched areas of St. Joseph County for the 32-year-old mother of two, who disappeared outside her parents’ home in Colon Township.


http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/07/nov_1_trial_set_for_douglas_st.html
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Re: Venus Stewart Never Found -- Douglas Stewart Convicted of Murder

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