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When A Mom Failed To Show Up For Breakfast, Her Family Realized She Had Vanished — What Happened?
Dee Ann Warner’s family is searching for answers after she mysteriously disappeared in April 2021.
When Dee Ann Warner failed to show up to her family’s standing weekly Sunday breakfast at her own house, it immediately triggered warning bells.
Her daughter Rikkell Bock started making breakfast without her mother but noticed that both of her mom’s vehicles were still left behind on her property in the rural farming community of Franklin Township in Lenawee, Michigan.
“I texted her. She didn’t answer. I called her. Her phone went straight to voicemail, which never has happened and there was just something in my gut that told me something was really wrong,” Bock said in a new podcast episode of “Dateline: Missing in America.”
When she vanished on April 25, 2021, Dee — described by her daughter as someone who was “always the life of the party” — was considering some big life changes. Just one day earlier, she had told her daughter that she was planning to leave her husband of 15 years, Dale Warner.
Members of Dee’s family described the marriage as one that had centered around the couple’s businesses and lacked a sense of romance or sentimentality.
Dee’s family said Dale told them in the days after she disappeared that the two had an argument but that they’d worked it out by the end of the night. He said Dee fell asleep on the living room floor while he was giving her a massage and then he carried her to the couch before going to bed himself. The next morning, she was gone.
Dale told them he believed that she had run off with another man who had more money and is likely now traveling out of the country, according to Dee’s family.
However, her family said, they’ve examined surveillance footage from the residence and never saw Dee leave the property. Multiple searches of the couple’s property have also failed to produce any sign of the missing 52-year-old.
Lenawee County Sheriff Troy Bevier told WTVG in May that Dale is considered a “person of interest” in the case, although no arrests have been made. No suspects have been named.
Dale declined to speak with “Dateline: Missing in America” but his attorney Larry Leib told local media that Dale was not involved in Dee’s disappearance.
“Dale Warner misses his wife very much. His daughter, Angelina, who is 10 years old, misses her mom. Dale Warner had nothing to do with her disappearance, nor did anyone around him, and for the last year there has been no evidence that connects him or the people close to him in Dee Warner’s disappearance,” the statement said.
The statement emphasized that Dale has cooperated with police throughout the investigation and that he “looks forward to hearing from his wife at some point, and that she is alive and okay.”
It’s been more than a year since Dee mysteriously vanished and Billy Little, a defense attorney and private investigator working with her family, believes she is likely dead.
“I don’t know where she is,” he said. “I don’t think we’re ever going to find her, but I haven’t given up looking because the family wants to find her body so she can get a proper funeral.”
As the case progresses, Bevier recently announced he had requested the Michigan State Police take the lead on the case. The organization is said to still be reviewing the request, according to the podcast.
Dee’s family is just hoping in the months ahead they will find the answers they need about what happened to the devoted mom and grandma.
“I don’t have any proof that she’s 100% gone,” Bock said. “So, we need that closure for us and we need it for our kids and we need it for our little sister, so that we can all move forward and start the grieving process.”
Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office at 517-263-0524 or Michigan State Police at 855-642-4847.
For more on this case and others like it, tune into the podcast “Dateline: Missing In America,” which is available for free on Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and TuneIn. New episodes drop weekly on Tuesdays.