BROWNSTOWN TOWNHIP, Mich. - The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office says the cause of death for a Brownstown Township woman who had been missing for several years before her remains turned up this March is indeterminate.
The remains of Lizzie Mae Collier-Sweet were identified through dental records and anthropological testing after being found in a wooded area just west of the intersection of Wherle Drive and Dawnshire.
A man searching for deer antlers had found her skull near that area in February. Police followed up with a search, but found no other evidence -- until March.
"We did such a monstrous search for her, all over the area. Then to find her basically right in our back yard is just astonishing to me," said Brownstown Detective Lt. Bob Grant.
Grant said the victim's wallet and jacket were also found.
Special section: Lizzie Mae Collier Sweet's body found
Collier-Sweet's bones were found within a 100 yards of where the skull was originally discovered.
Police said they didn't know if the body was moved or relocated, but police say it could have been submerged in the marsh or recently dug up by animals.
History of Lizzie Mae Collier Sweet's missing case
Fire investigators concluded that the fire was intentionally set. Brownstown police Lt. Robert Grant said when the husband was asked about his wife's whereabouts, he said if he had to guess she was probably dead in the woods.
Friends told police that just prior to her disappearance Lizzie Mae purchased a handgun for her protection.
Roger Sweet, was sentenced in 2008 to 15 to 30 years in prison for the 1990 murder of his first wife, Marlene Sweet. He came under suspicion in that slaying after Collier-Sweet disappeared.
Roger Sweet's defense attorney, Jerome Sabbota, said his client pleaded no contest to murder because he was going to prison anyway.
Roger Sweet already had been sentenced earlier in 2008 to21 years and 10 months in prison on an unrelated federal case. Prosecutors said then that he produced pornography using a 16-year-oldmentally disabled girl.
He also was sentenced in a Wayne County court to10 to 17 years on related sex-assault charges.
--Lizzie Mae and Roger Sweet
--Home Lizzie Mae Collier-Sweet shared with her husband Roger Sweet
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