Three theories of what happened to Unsolved Mysteries’ JoAnn Romain

The story of JoAnn Matouk Romain has bewildered true crime fans and amateur detectives for a decade.

JoAnn, a middle aged churchgoer from the US, disappeared in January 2010.

She vanished after attending a prayer service at a Catholic Church near Lake St Clair in Grosse Point, Michigan.

But 70 days later her body was found floating in the Detroit river over 30 miles from where she was last seen alive.

Despite being ruled as a suicide – her family have argued that she was murdered.

The case has been revisited by Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries and there are plenty of theories surrounding her suspected killing.

The background to the case starts on January 12 after the 55-year-old had gone to church.

According to police, she left her wallet, purse and cash in her car in the parking lot, crossed the street and walked through a snowy area in heeled boots.

She crossed rocks, crouched down and entered an icy lake of her own accord before disappearing for over two months.

A three-day search proved fruitless and she was not found for 70 days.

She was eventually found by Canadian fisherman 48 kilometres away and her death was ruled as unsuspicious.

Here are the theories on what might have happened:

She took her own life

So the first theory is that she died by suicide. The official ruling is that the missing mum ended her own life that day in January 2010.

The police assume she took her own life and entered a freezing lake willingly. Her phone was missing and her bag was locked in her car.

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There were no fingerprints on the car and no sign of a struggle, according to detectives.

She was abducted and murdered

Theory two, which is supported by her daughter Michelle, is that JoAnn was abducted from the car park, killed and dumped in the water.

Michelle’s legal team found that footprints in the snow actually matched a large shoe, not a heel, the Radio Times reports.

And a retired FBI agent who was brought in to investigate found that she had been in touch with a security company prior to her death.

She also claimed she was being stalked, and called an investigator.

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JoAnn was, according to reports, acting strange before her death but would not tell anyone what was going on.

Timeline Troubles

Michelle Romain says she is closer to proving her mum was murdered thanks to documents from the Coastguard.

In an interview with the Free Press, she said she has proof that the timeline used by police does not add up.

The timeline, according to the daughter, is the most significant issue.

The Free Press reported records that the Coastguard received a call requesting a search for the missing mum at 9.30pm the day she vanished.

But Michelle said police didn’t run the LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network) check that kicked off the investigation until half hour later.

And she says an officer showed up at her home half an hour before her mother was declared missing.

Unsolved Mysteries is streaming on Netflix now

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