Police searching for a missing Michigan teacher say the case is evolving into a murder investigation as the teacher’s husband is now a person of the interest in her disappearance.
High school Spanish teacher Theresa Lockhart, 44, has not been seen since the evening of May 18, when she drove away from her Portage, Michigan home, the Kalamazoo Gazette reports.
Investigators have not found any evidence that Lockhart is alive since she vanished, such as use of credit cards or communications with others. Lockhart’s car was found at a park-and-ride parking lot several miles from her home.
Police say Lockhart’s husband, Christopher Lockhart, is not cooperating with the probe, has not been involved in efforts to find his wife and has secured an attorney, according to the Gazette.
Christopher Lockhart also did not report Theresa missing. The superintendent of the school district where she worked did that.
“At this point, we are moving the course of the investigation toward a homicide investigation,” Portage Department of Public Safety Senior Deputy Chief John Blue told the Gazette.
On Saturday, Christopher Lockhart told a Michigan television station that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance and that he believes he has been cooperative with authorities.
In attempting to explain Theresa’s disappearance, Christopher said Theresa had a history of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, and that she was having problems at work.
Christopher further suggested to the television station that Theresa could have left to start a new life or may have sought treatment at a medical facility.
“I’m terribly worried about her,” he told WOOD-TV. “I don’t know where she’s at.”
As for being named a person of interest, Christopher told WOOD-TV he thinks police are simply trying to embarrass and pressure him.
A friend of Theresa’s also spoke to the television station. She said some of Christopher’s statements don’t match Theresa’s character.
“Who doesn’t know the whereabouts of their spouse if you’re living together and you’re married?” the friend asked.
Photo: Wood TV Video screenshot