Tara Grant's murder 5 years later

Local 4 Defenders recall one of Metro Detroit's biggest murder cases

Published On: Feb 09 2012 02:28:05 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 10 2012 02:57:06 AM EST
DETROIT -

Thursday is the 5th anniversary of Tara Grant's murder.

Her husband and now convicted killer, Stephen Grant, spent weeks trying to throw off the media and investigators by making up stories about his wife and her life.

It was all for not when it was revealed that Stephen Grant had brutally murdered his wife in their home.

Where is the convicted killer today?

Right now, Grant is in prison where he gained a significant amount of weight. He works folding laundry but clearly hasn't been working out. The former avid runner is almost unrecognizable.

Grant asked Local 4 Defender Hank Winchester to visit him in prison in 2009. However, once Winchester arrived at the prison he was told Grant wasn't up for visitors.

That was the last time the Defenders heard from Grant.

Recalling Tara Grant's murder:

Tara Grant returned to her Washington Township home on Feb. 9, 2007. She was returning from a business trip in Puerto Rico. She had been working long hours and was excited to come home to see her children and her husband. Little did Tara know Stephen was already plotting her murder. He was hoping to take his wife out of the picture so he could begin a relationship with the couple's au pair, Veranna.

That night, after the children were tucked in bed and after the au pair went to sleep, there was an argument that escalated into a fight which ultimately ended with Tara's murder at the hands of Stephen.

She was strangled in her bedroom.

Stephen waited a few days before reporting his wife missing. However, Tara Grant's face was soon everywhere. People were desperately trying to locate the missing mother. Her husband seemed concerned at first but later seemed like he was hiding something. He became obsessed with the media coverage and the spotlight.

Stephen Grant's story started to fall apart and police suspected he was involved in his wife's death.

Armed with a search warrant, police investigators entered the Grant home and discovered Tara's torso hidden in a storage container in the garage. Moments before police had arrived at the home, Grant had called hank Winchester asking if he would interview him inside his garage. By the time Winchester and a Local 4 camera crew arrived at the home, Grant was in a police car. Police had taken over the house and then called Tara's sister Alicia Standerer to break the news.

Tara Grant's remains were found not only inside the home but scattered in nearby Stoney Creek Metro Park. A trial soon followed.

Those close to the case:

Alicia Standerer was in court for every minute of testimonies. She wanted Stephen Grant to know she was there.

Soon after the wrapped up, the battle for custody began. Standerer ultimately won custody of Grant's children Lindsay and Ian. The children were told what happened to their mother. they knew their father was sent to prison.

They now call Standerer "mom" and rarely mention or ask about their father. They continue to go through counseling but have adjusted to life in Ohio with Standerer, her husband and their own two children.

Standerer has tried to move forward.

That hasn't been possible for some people close to the case.

Stephen Grant's father committed suicide on June 13, 2008. The murder had devastated Grant's father and sent him into a deep depression.

David Griem was Stephen Grant's attorney early on in the investigation. However, he famously fired his client on TV once his lies and deceit were revealed. Today, Griem has another high-profile client: Bob Bashara. Bashara's wife was found murdered on Jan. 25.

Mark Hackel was the Macomb County Sheriff during the Grant investigation. Today, Hackel serves as Macomb County executive. The Grant case was the highest profile case during his law enforcement career.

Stephen Grant's sister, Kelly Utykanski, still lives in Metro Detroit. She visits her brother in prison. She has limited contact with the Grant children.

Five years later and so much has happened. Lives have been forever changed while Stephen Grant sits alone in a prison cell. His life also ruined.

Grant will be eligible for parole when he is 80-year-old.

However, on Thursday night, the focus isn't on Grant the killer. It's on Tara Grant the loving mother, sister and friend whose life was tragically cut short.