Murder Mystery: The Death of Dar Foley

UNION CITY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Folks say Dar Foley can be described in three words; peace, love and happiness.

“She was full of life and she was an awesome person and they really missed out on a great person,” says Amber Rapelje, Dar’s niece.

Dar's life was snuffed out on February 7th, 2009. The Union City teacher was found dead of a gunshot wound.

Tom Foley, Dar's husband, found his wife's bloody body in the shower.

“I can tell you what she was making,” says Amber, recalling the day she found out her aunt was dead.

“She (Amber’s mother) was making spaghetti that night for dinner and we were downstairs when we got the phone call and we had heard that she had died,” says Rapelje.

It’s tough phone call for anybody but especially for Amber. Dar was Amber's Kindergarten teacher. She still carries a piece of her aunt with her.

“When I was thirteen, I found out I needed a kidney transplant and as soon as she found out, she was like--I’m going to be the one to give you that kidney,” says Amber.

That kindness is how many describe Dar---which is why this murder still haunts Union City.

Many continue to ask---who would do such a thing?

“It’s not a cold case,” says Amber. “We know who did it and he's still out there.”

“The case is open, per our policy, but in the instance of that investigation for all intents and purposes it's concluded from our standpoint,” says Detective Chuck Christensen with Michigan State Police. “We followed the evidence which led us to an individual and then an arrest was made and we are confident that that person is where the case originated and where the answers lie."

Detective Christensen and Amber are both talking about Tom Foley, Dar's husband.

Tom was found guilty in 2009. But shortly after, three new witnesses came forward.

In a new trial, the witnesses testified that they saw a white car fleeing the family farm. Tom was acquitted.

Foley declined Newschannel3's requests for an interview but sent us a statement which reads:

"Many have felt the pain of losing Dee Dee (Dar) and still live with that today. Dee Dee was an incredible person with her greatest achievement being an unbelievable parent. The biggest loss is our son Heath not having his mother. I do my best to comfort and protect him, but I am not her. One thing I can do is continue to push the authorities to investigate this horrible crime and bring the individual or individuals to justice. The evidence is there. The time is now for this to happen.”

“That’s the most irritating part really,” says Amber. “I mean people can say whatever they want to say that he's not guilty because of this, he's not guilty because of that but if you really know the case, you know he is and he's just out there living life because he should really be paying for what he did,” says Rapelje about Tom Foley.

Foley cannot be re-tried because of double jeopardy

While Dar's family says they have the answers, Tom says his wife's killer is still out there.

Despite the differences and the pain, Dar's family is still speaking out hoping to keep Dar's memory alive.

“I think our family feels strongly that Aunt Dar needs a voice and we're giving it to her because she's not here,” says Rapelje.

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