Man jailed for murdering wife leads cops to her body eight years later in exchange for an Xbox
Doug Stewart led police to his deceased wife's remains in a deep grave in a wooded area of the Wakeshma Township in Michigan
A Michigan man who was serving a life sentence at the Saginaw Correctional Facility for the murder of his estranged wife in 2010 finally agreed to lead authorities to her body which had never been found in exchange for an Xbox inside his cell.
According to the Sturgis Journal, Doug Stewart led police to his deceased wife's remains this past Monday. The authorities found the body in a deep grave in a wooded area of the Wakeshma Township in Kalamazoo County, with Stewart reportedly having little difficulty in finding the spot because of two stumps that he'd left as a landmark at the time.
Police said that the landowner was not related to Stewart, but revealed that both Stewart and his father had cut wood on the property prior to his arrest and conviction. The discovery of the body means that Stewart will not only get the gaming console but also now be allowed to participate in various prison programs.
The Daily Mail reported that Stewart was living in Virginia when his then-estranged wife, Venus Stewart, disappeared from her parents' home in Michigan in April 2010. She had moved in with them after accusing her husband of domestic violence and molesting their daughter.
In an interview, her father had said that he had called 911 to report her missing but that her kids, car, and personal effects were still at their house. Authorities zeroed in on Stewart and arrested him in connection to her disappearance, and he was later convicted of first-degree murder for the same.
Because the body had never been found, his conviction was built on the testimony of his friend Ricky Spencer, who Stewart had met while playing an online Xbox game. Spencer had admitted to authorities that Stewart had persuaded him to impersonate his person while he drove to Michigan to confront his wife.
Speaking about the case, Detective Sergeant Todd Petersen said that, ever since Stewart's sentencing, a detective traveled to the Saginaw Correctional Facility about once a year to try to get him to reveal the location of Venus' body.
Following his recent revelation of the body's location, police and anthropologists from Western Michigan University and members from the Michigan State Police crime laboratory combed through the area. The St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough said that, because of the condition of the remains, identification should not pose an issue, and authorities are confident that they will soon receive confirmation that the body belongs to Venus.
Stewart had maintained his innocence in the killing since his conviction, though he would recently have a change of heart after his sister began to reconcile with Venus' family. He claimed he was hoping to make amends with his wife's family and said, "I let them know I didn't want this burden on the family or even selfishly myself. I didn't want it anymore. It's a horrible pain knowing you're hurting people. Even beyond the crime you committed."