WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – It’s been less than a month since Dateline Detroit focused on the death of JoAnn Matouk Romain and the family said people unwilling to talk in the past are starting to come forward.
The case is complicated. The family is now offering $200,000 in reward money in hopes of finding out what happened to JoAnn Matouk Romain.
“I think that people have been scared for a long time to come forward and I do think that with this reward people might be more open to coming forward,” JoAnn Matouk Romain’s daughter, Michelle Romain, said.
Tipsters are starting to respond to the offer of a reward. Information has been sent to the Local 4 Defenders and to the Romain family.
In May, Dateline Detroit focused on the death of the 55-year-old Grosse Pointe Woods woman. Police said JoAnn Matouk Romain died by suicide after walking into Lake St. Clair. Her family believes she was murdered and blames questionable police practices for not being able to officially close the case.
“There was no sign of any evidence of any violent crime to warrant a DNA check,” Grosse Pointe Farms police Chief Dan Jensen said.
Local 4 revealed a conflicting timeline of events the night JoAnn Matouk Romain went missing in January of 2010. There was also evidence that was donated instead of being saved and the keys to her car mysteriously reappeared after her disappearance.
“We have gotten some good feedback from the special and some tips that have come in that have been very resourceful at this time,” Michelle Romain said.
Grosse Pointe residents are also joining the fight for answers. A group of concerned citizens sent a letter to City COuncil stating: “We implore you to do the right thing. Push for an outside investigation to be opened on the new facts that have come to light.”
As for the big increase in reward money. Michelle Romain had this to say.
“We know that there are more people out there that have more critical information. We know that the information that people are holding is frightful and we want to be able to give them something for the courage to come forward with that information,” Michelle Romain said.
The FBI still won’t confirm or deny that agents had a meeting with JoAnn Matouk Romain days before she died.
You can submit a tip by calling 855-411-LEWIS or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.