Estranged husband leads police to body of Venus Stewart eight years after she disappeared
Eight years after she disappeared Venus Stewart was found Monday, in a shallow grave south of Fulton, Michigan.
And her husband, Doug Stewart, who has for years proclaimed his innocence, admitted that he killed her and disposed of her body.
"I was wretched, cold and calculated."
Doug Stewart is already serving a life sentence in prison. Although police could not locate his wife's body, Stewart was convicted March 11, 2011, of first-degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder. He was sentenced in April 2011, a year after his wife disappeared.
When he was sentenced, Stewart predicted that his wife would never be found.
Yet this fall, during interviews with Newschannel 3, Douglas Stewart said it was time to reveal the truth.
He said he feels remorse. He is sorry. He said he lied when proclaiming his innocence.
“You remember everything. I remember the smells, everything," he said of killing his wife. "I think about it every single second.”
On Monday, Doug Stewart lead authorities her body, ending an eight-year search.
"When I tell you the story it is going to make me a monster. I am OK with this because that's what I was eight years ago," Stewart told Newschannel 3. "The story is going to make me look bad. I was wretched, cold and calculated."
Venus Stewart's father, Larry McComb, died earlier this year, and afterward, Venus' mom, Therese McComb, started talking to Doug's sister. The relationship between the two families began to mend. So Doug Stewart's father and sister began encouraging Doug to talk, he said.
A series of events led to Venus' death, starting in February 2010, Doug Stewart said. The two were having marital issues, he said. And one day, Venus Stewart left their marital home with their two children, returned to Michigan and moved in with her parents. Venus had accused Doug of molesting their daughters, Doug Stewart said, and that made him angry.
Doug Stewart shared his struggles with a friend he'd met through online gambling. One day, he and the friend started talking about killing Venus Stewart as a solution to Doug's problems. Doug Stewart said it was just a joke, at first.
"What started out as a fantasy, slowly turned into planning," Stewart told Newschannel 3.
So they put together a plan.
The first execution effort failed, Doug Stewart said, because while he was driving to Michigan he was stopped by police. The idea was that the friend would stay in Virginia and pretend to be Doug Stewart, giving him an alibi. The traffic stop put an end to that, though, so Doug Stewart returned home.
On the second attempt, he succeeded.
Doug Stewart said he hid outside the gate at his in-laws' home and called the house, pretending to be a USPS delivery driver. When Venus came out to the mailbox, he was hiding nearby, near a propane tank.
When she passed close, he grabbed her and choked her until she was unconscious, Doug Stewart said. Once she was unconscious, and “fell into his arms,” he said, he had doubts. So he took her to another location. When she regained consciousness, they “had a conversation,” Doug Stewart said. It was during that conversation that Venus said something that angered him, causing him “to lose it.” That's when he killed her, Doug Stewart said.
"It was my fault. I am going to be in prison for the rest of my life," Doug Stewart told Newschannel 3. "I switched off reason and looked for solutions and I chose the worst solution."
"I switched off reason and looked for solutions and I chose the worst solution."
On Monday, Michigan State Police officers escorted Doug Stewart out of the Saginaw Correctional Facility and took him to southern Kalamazoo County, near Fulton.
He lead them to a wooded area, then admitted to killing her and burying her there in 2010, the day she disappeared.