Judge to Decide if Evidence Shows Dee Ann Warner is Deceased
This week, a Lenawee County probate judge will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial to declare Dee Ann Warner dead. Dee was reported missing from her Tecumseh, Michigan home on April 25, 2021.
The suspicious circumstances of Dee’s disappearance began on April 24, 2021. Dee had told her friends and family she planned to divorce her husband, Dale Warner, and sell their businesses. On the evening Dee was going to confront Dale, a family friend took their nine-year-old daughter overnight to shield her from what was predicted to be a heated argument.
The next morning, when one of Dee’s adult children brought her family over for their usual Sunday breakfast, Dee was nowhere to be found. Dale claimed Dee was asleep on the couch when he left for work around 6 AM. Later, he claimed to have found her $50,000 wedding ring on his desk and said she had probably taken off to Mexico or Jamaica.
Dee vanished without a vehicle, and no one has heard from her. Her bank cards and passport remain idle. Her Apple watch and cellphone died sometime during the night Dee intended to tell Dale their marriage was over.
In signed affidavits, Dee’s four adult children stated they have never gone more than a few days without talking to their mother. They are adamant Dee would have never left without their little sister.
On March 9, 2023, Hon. Catherine A. Sala will determine if there is enough proof to show Dee is not likely alive. If so, there will be a trial on March 16, 2023, to declare her deceased. This is an important step for Dee’s family to get justice for their mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.
Dee’s brother, Gregg Hardy, told me in a previous interview, “In my opinion, the petition for the declaration of death is a precursor to being able to file a wrongful death suit against Mr. Warner for what we consider to be his acts in wrongful death.”
Dee’s family has hired Todd Flood, a prominent Detroit-based lawyer, to represent them in the pretrial and trial. Today, Hardy said to me, “In my opinion, it was important that we have a very astute, experienced trial lawyer.”
Dale Warner is still facing multiple charges of criminal contempt of court for flagrantly disobeying the judge’s orders, diverting millions of dollars of assets from Dee’s estate, and concealing his actions from the Successor Conservator, Charles D. Bullock. Mr. Bullock is responsible for protecting Dee’s estate. The hearing has been adjourned until April 13, 2023.
Dale’s legal woes don’t end there.
Mr. Bullock and his attorney have filed a civil complaint against Dale Warner and Mark Weisberg, a convicted felon who used to be Dale’s accountant and is now referred to in court papers as his personal assistant. The civil complaint charges Dale and Mark with 12 separate counts of business crimes including common law conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and silent fraud. The court date is yet to be determined.