Image source: Netflix
The fifth episode of the second volume of Netflix Unexplained mysteries reboot delves deep into the disturbing death of 55-year-old JoAnn Romain. JoAnn disappeared in 2010 after her car was found outside St. Paul's Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. Authorities quickly concluded that JoAnn had died of suicide after walking into a freezing lake nearby and drowning herself. However, her body was not recovered in the first search.
Over two months later, JoAnn's body was discovered in the Detroit River, 35 miles from her disappearance. Her clothes, jewelry, and shoes were still intact and her car keys were found in her coat pocket, but her rosary and cell phone were both missing. She also had two bruises on her left arm that could have been the result of an attack because the wallet in her car was torn.
So what happened to JoAnn? A decade has passed since her death, but her case is still unsolved. Before doing this, read four theories about who might be behind her death.
Theory 1: JoAnn Romain died by suicide
Police claim JoAnn's death was a drowning suicide, but it is very unlikely that her body would have left the shallow water along the coast and traveled to the Detroit River because there was no current. Authorities also had divers searching the water for several days and they found no evidence that JoAnn had drowned. Not to mention that JoAnn filled her car before going to church, and as investigative reporter Scott Lewis put it, "Who fills their gas tank on the way to suicide?"
Theory 2: David Romain killed his ex-wife JoAnn
JoAnn's daughter Michelle cited her father David as a potential suspect. He and JoAnn had been married for 25 years, but they separated shortly before her death because JoAnn was tired of arguing and wanted to lead a "peaceful, happy life". According to Michelle, David was really angry that JoAnn had left him, which could have been a possible motive for him to kill her.
Theory 3: Someone connected to John Matouk murdered JoAnn Romain
Michelle suspected that her uncle John – JoAnn's brother – might have played a role in JoAnn's death. Although she doesn't believe that he personally did anything to hurt his sister, John owed several people a lot of money. Michelle suggested that her mother's death could have been revenge, since JoAnn and John were close together. John claimed that he had nothing to do with JoAnn's death. However, he said it was possible that someone he knew could have murdered his sister.
Theory 4: Tim Matouk murdered JoAnn Romain
Michelle's prime suspect is JoAnn's estranged cousin Tim, who was a police officer at the time. Michelle accused Grosse Pointe police of covering him up after a witness claimed he saw JoAnn with Tim and another man at the lake the night they disappeared.
"My mother had expressed extreme fear and concern for him before this happened," Michelle told CBS News Detroit in 2018. "She also stated that she did not want to go to the local police because they were estranged with them Family member friends were a cop and they wouldn't do anything to help her. "
Grosse Pointe police filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and in August 2019 a federal appeals court ruled unanimously in favor of the city and its police department.