Today marks 12 years since JoAnn Matouk Romain’s mysterious death

‘It’s hard to believe our mother has been gone now for 12 years’

JoAnn Matouk Romain

How can it be 12 years?

It was Jan. 12, 2010 when a local mother disappeared after leaving an evening church service at St. Paul Catholic Church off Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms. Seventy days later the body of JoAnn Matouk Romain was found, but that discovery brought even more questions, theories, and ideas of how she died, and if this was a case of murder.

In all my years as an investigative reporter there have been a few cases that left me bewildered, wondering what REALLY happened. The case of JoAnn Matouk Romain is one of those cases. Police believe she killed herself. Matouk Romain’s family believes their mother was murdered.

I reached out to JoAnn’s daughter Michelle this morning asking her how she felt today. Michelle has actively worked on her mother’s case. She’s hired private detectives and continues to try to figure out what happened that cold January night 12 years ago.

“It’s hard to believe our mother -- the love and light of our life -- has been gone now for 12 years,” Michelle said. “We are humbled by the outpouring amount of love and support from the community since the real details of this case were exposed to the public with the great work of Karen Drew and WDIV in the past year. The general consensus we have received by the citizens in the community is that they are appalled by the way this case has been handled and the lack of empathy from the local police departments to bring this case to justice.”

As we still try to figure out what happened to JoAnn Matouk Romain, there is another twist in the case ... the death of Paul Hawk. Hawk was found inside his Grosse Pointe home dead a few weeks ago. You may recall it was Hawk who went to Grosse Pointe Farms police with what he sayid he saw the night JoAnn disappeared on Lake Shore Road. Police did not deem him credible.

I’ve included my previous investigations as well as our hour special below on the mysterious death of JoAnn Matouk Romain.

Read back:

Start with Part 1 here:

Here is Part 1 of "Dateline Detroit: Secrets of a Small Town" from WDIV Local 4. For more on the JoAnn Matouk Romain case, go here:

About the Author:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter.