Missing Michigan mother: What happened to Dee Ann Warner?

Mother of 5 from Tipton disappeared in April 2020

Thursday (April 20) night, we're hearing from the family of the mother of five, now missing for nearly a year, and police are also talking about the case. Many people are determined to get answers about the 52-year-old who vanished last April.

TIPTON, Mich. – Many people are determined to get answers about Dee Ann Warner, a missing 52-year-old mother of five who vanished in April 2020.

Family members suspect foul play, but the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office says it needs more to go on, and they’re renewing their request for help from the public.

The “Justice For Dee” signs lined up as far as the eye can see on a country road in South Central Michigan are a signal for a grieving family searching for answers.

Family members want to know how Warner could just disappear.

The last time anyone saw the mother of five was on April 25, 2021. Warner’s home is in Tipton, where she ran her own trucking company from the barns in the backyard.

Warner’s brother Gregg Hardy claims she suffered from a rocky marriage, but he believes her sudden disappearance was not about any desire to escape that.

“Her demeanor would more than likely be to set the house on fire on her way out, if she were leaving,” Hardy said. “I mean, seriously, she was a scrapper.”

Warner’s cell phone went dead, and there hasn’t been any activity on her bank accounts, either. Lenawee County Sheriff Troy Bevier brought in the Michigan State Police and the FBI, who conducted numerous digs and used ground-penetrating radar to look for Warner’s body.

From October: Police do not locate missing Lenawee County woman Dee Warner during 2-day search

“We have not completely ruled anyone out,” Bevier said. “I can also say that the husband, Dale Warner, is well aware that he is the primary person of interest, and we have interviewed him numerous times.”

Hardy spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on private investigators to help determine his sister’s whereabouts, and he wants to see some action.

“It’s time for the authorities to gather themselves and have a serious discussion with the prosecutor and decide what they need to do for both family’s sake,” Hardy said. “They’ve been through enough here. As the saying goes, enough is enough. Well, it’s enough.”

Hardy believes that his sister was murdered. He is hoping for action on behalf of the prosecutor, who doesn’t necessarily need a body to prosecute a murder case.

The sheriff told Local 4′s Rod Meloni Thursday that there is not enough evidence to bring an investigative jacket to the prosecutor’s office. So, as it stands, the case is at a standstill.

A vigil for Warner will be held Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Hardy family farm on Munger Road in Tipton, Michigan. Sheriff Bevier says he plans to attend the vigil.


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.