PLYMOUTH (WWJ/AP) – A gruesome discovery in a Plymouth Township storage unit has police searching for answers.
Dental records will be examined over the weekend to determine if a decomposed body found in a 55-gallon plastic drum is that of a missing Macomb County woman.
Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green tells The Associated Press Friday that there are “strong indications” the victim may be 22-year-old Theresa DeKeyzer.
“It was quite disturbing to see a 22-year-old young gal stuffed in a 55-gallon drum and cement poured over her in the fetal position,” Green told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
The Wayne County medical examiner’s office says Friday that autopsy results are pending.
Warren police were executing a search warrant Thursday at the Travel Trailer Storage Facility, on Ann Arbor Road, when they found a woman’s body inside a 55-gallon blue plastic drum that was filled with sand, sealed with cement and wrapped in plastic. The barrel was apparently bolted to the floor of a small utility trailer at the facility.
Police have notified DeKeyzer’s family about the discovery, but Green said investigators are awaiting autopsy results to positively identified the body.
“Certainly we think it’s her, but we’ll find out probably by the end of the day,” he said.
Police used tattoos, jewelry and clothing to help identify the body, though Wayne County medical examiners are not ready to confirm the identity just yet.
Officials said that its took medical examiners more than four hours to free the remains from the drum, being careful to not damage any of the evidence. Spokesperson Mary Mazur said that there were measures utilized to cover up evidence in the case.
“It’s very important and very crucial to be very careful when extracting remains because anything can affect the quality of what the composition is, especially when decomposition is involved,” Mazur said. “We wanted to make sure that is was done properly and correctly.
Mazur said that the body was so decomposed that medical examiners have dentists and forensic anthropologists standing by to possibly evaluate the evidence.
Green said investigators ended up at the storage facility after receiving a tip in their investigation of DeKeyzer’s disappearance.
“Obviously, the discovery is linked to the suspect in the case,” Green said, referring to DeKeyzer’s 37-year-old boyfriend Scott Wobbe, who is currently jailed in a drug case.
DeKeyzer’s family members say she hasn’t used her cellphone or accessed her bank account since she was dropped off by Wobbe early June 16 about four blocks from her home near 9 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue; and she hasn’t picked up her paycheck from work.
Police in Warren have twice interviewed Wobbe and searched his home with cadaver dogs, but reportedly found no physical evidence to show that he was involved in DeKeyzer’s disappearance.
The day before DeKeyzer went missing, she was apparently involved in a physical altercation with Wobbe, who has a lengthy criminal history that includes assault convictions. When DeKeyzer refused to get out of his car, he reportedly dragged her out by her shirt. She started hitting him with her fists, and he allegedly punched her back in the face. The fight ended when neighbors intervened and Wobbe, who was reportedly drunk, fled the scene.
Reports say DeKeyzer was checked out by police at the scene, and said she would file a complaint in the morning.
About six hours after the fight, DeKeyzer walked to a gas station for cigarettes. Wobbe told police he picked DeKeyzer up from the gas station that night, and they went back to his house and made up, the Detroit News reported. The next day, around 6 a.m., Wobbe allegedly dropped DeKeyzer off near her home. She hasn’t been seen since.
Authorities said the last phone call DeKeyzer made was at 8:27 a.m. June 16 from the area of 8 Mile Road and Groesbeck Highway, along the Warren-Detroit border.
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