JoAnn Matouk Romain’s family is still fighting for justice in a mysterious case they believe was a murder. The devout Catholic wife and mother disappeared from a church service, and her body was found two months later.
Romain’s car was found at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church in her hometown of Grosse Pointe Woods, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, January 12, 2020. On March 20, 2010, her body was found on the Canadian side of the Detroit River about 30 miles away.
She was married to Dave Romain in 1980 and had three children: Michelle, Kellie and Michael. Her parents, William and Louise, were Syrian immigrants who settled in Grosse Pointe Woods. Her parents had amassed a small fortune through their business, Woods Wholesale Fine Wine & Spirits, which led to a bitter family dispute over their $20 million estate, which was to be divided among their five children, according to the Sun.
The mysterious death is being examined on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix in “Lady in the Lake.” The episode is the fifth in season 2, which is released on Netflix at 3 a.m. Eastern time Monday, October 19, 2020.
Here’s what you need to know:
Matouk’s Family Filed a Lawsuit Against the City Officials Farms Alleging a Coverup in Her Death Investigation
The estate of JoAnn Matouk Romain filed a lawsuit against the city of Grosse Pointe Farms, the city of Grosse Pointe Woods and other officials, which was dismissed. In August, 2019, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit unanimously ruled in favor of the city and its police department in August, 2019, and overturned a lower court’s ruling that the city couldn’t seek to recover its attorney fees related to the lawsuit.
The opinion filed in the suit in August 2019 says:
According to Joann Matouk Romain’s estate, two local police departments and many officers covered up Joann’s murder. The alleged plot required duping other officers, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Canadian authorities. The motive? To help a friend who sold the officers alcohol at prices cheaper than Costco. What at first sounds fanciful is moored by some odd facts. For example, Joann’s daughter swears that an unidentified officer questioned her about Joann before the police suspected Joann was missing. Another officer had Joann’s spare key that allegedly went missing a month before her disappearance. That said, a reasonable jury could not return a verdict for the estate. As a result, we affirm the district court’s decision to grant summary judgment to the defendants.
However, Romain’s family still contends she was murdered, and continue to fight for justice in the case.
Mark Bendure, an attorney representing the estate, told Detroit News he was reviewing the court decision at the time.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the outcome,” he said. “Right now, we’re carefully going over the opinion and trying to completely understand what the court was saying. We’ll be considering our options.”
JoAnn Romain’s Daughters, Kellie & Michelle, Recently Appeared on a Podcast Discussing Their Mother’s Death & Advocate Through Social Media
JoAnn Romain’s daughters, Michelle and Kellie, frequently voice their beliefs through media that their mother was murdered. One of their most recent accounts was given on a podcast, The Deep Dark Truth, on September 22, 2020 in an episode called “The Death of JoAnn Matouk Romain.”
“Moe, Chip & Mikey discuss a case in the Unsolved Series- The Death of Joann Matouk Romain and speak with her daughters Kellie and Michelle about the case. Check out Joann’s case on an upcoming episode of Unsolved Mysteries ‘The Lady In The Lake’ On October 19th,” the episode description says.
Her daughters said on the podcast that they knew immediately after her disappearance their mother was abducted because she was threatened by her cousin, a police officer.