A Michigan man who hanged himself left behind a suicide note that led police to discover the body of his wife after she had been missing for five months.
Police discovered the body of 47-year-old Christopher Lockhart in the basement of his home in Portage, Michigan, MLive reported. Police said the man hanged himself and died from strangulation.
The officers discovered Lockhart’s body at 10:48 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, after he failed to appear for a 10 a.m. meeting with the local corrections office. The man wore an alcohol tether device that detected no movement for several hours, NBC reported.
Police found a suicide note in which Lockhart admitted to killing his wife on May 18 and drew a map by hand to show where he had disposed of the body.
Theresa Lockhart vanished on May 18. She worked as a high school Spanish teacher and the school reported her missing after she missed two days of work. The woman’s car was found at a local Park-and-Ride, but investigators did not find anything after searching the surrounding area.
Her husband’s note finally led police to her body about 50 miles from their home. A search party found the corpse partly buried after a heavy rain. The body was decomposed, but police said there were signs of wounds, leading to uncertainty about how the woman was killed.
In the note, Lockhart wrote that he had argued with his wife the night of the murder and “just snapped,” People reported. He also apologized in the note, according to Nick Armold, the director of public safety for the Portage Department of Public Safety.
“He did express remorse and asked for forgiveness,” Armold said.
Lockhart did not cooperate with police after his wife went missing. He refused the let investigators search their home, leading police to serve him with a warrant on June 7.
Theresa Lockhart’s sister called up Christopher Lockhart when she learned her sister had gone missing, Huffington Post reported.
“He wasn’t very forthcoming with information,” Mullowney said. “To be truthful, he seemed rather lackadaisical in his attitude definitely not the attitude of a loving husband whose wife is missing.”
Lockhart has been arrested four times since his wife went missing on unrelated charges. He remained a person of interest in the case up until his death. Police believe he died up to 30 hours before his body was discovered in the Poplar Bluff Court home.
According to Mullowney, her sister met Lockhart through an online dating site in 2006 and married him in 2007.
Theresa Lockhart’s college friend spoke to her on the day she went missing and said that the couple was working through some issues.
“They were hitting a really rough patch,” Jen Zimmerman said.
Theresa Lockhart was well liked by her colleagues and students. In addition to teaching Spanish full time, she taught a leadership class, contributed to afterschool activities, and was an adviser for the school’s National Honor’s Society.
“My heart is breaking that a special life has been taken away but we now have closure as to what and when,” Mullowney wrote on Facebook, WWMT reported. “Chris did one good deed before he died and that was to tell us where we could find Theresa.”