PDA

View Full Version : MI MI - Detroit Boaters: Lana Stempien (found dead), & Charles Rutherford, 34, Aug 2005



Only4Justice
08-20-2005, 08:38 PM
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/4857624/detail.html

Michigan State Police said in a Tuesday news release that a 27-foot Wellcraft boat named "Sea's Life" was found adrift on Friday at about 11 a.m. with its motor running and no persons onboard.

The vessel was found after the Coast Guard's Sault Ste. Marie sector received a report that a boat matching its description had been located near Bois Blanc Island, Mich. The St. Ignace station launched its 47-foot life boat and tracked down the missing boat at that location.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for Stempien and Rutherford on Saturday after an extensive two-day search covering the area between Marquette Island, Bois Blanc Island and Mackinac Island.

The Michigan State Police St. Ignace Post said that it's keeping its investigation into the disappearance open.

Authorities said at this point, they do not suspect foul play.


This is a couple of attorneys from Detroit. Mid-30's, boyfriend & girlfriend, come from good families.

What do you all think? Foul play or accident?

I hope I posted this correctly. I am here all the time, but rarely post. I want your great opinions sleuthers! :innocent:

I know this girl....haven't seen her in years, though.

SewingDeb
08-20-2005, 09:00 PM
This is a strange one....motor running, no passengers....police don't suspect foul play?
What do they think happened, I wonder? A suicide pact?

Only4Justice
08-21-2005, 08:42 AM
This is a strange one....motor running, no passengers....police don't suspect foul play?
What do they think happened, I wonder? A suicide pact?

No, I don't think it was suicide. Like I said, this girl is an acquaintance from many years ago. This couple had much going for them. I talked to my aunt yesterday who knows this girl good, and she (Lana) had called her dad just prior to them disappearing, checking in with him. She also talked to a cousin of mine (her best friend) that same day. Nothing was amiss.

But, I wonder, could working for the City of Detroit as an attorney play into this?

Also, I heard from my aunt that the panic button was pushed at around 1:30 a.m.

babydust2004
08-26-2005, 04:35 AM
The discovery of a body that washed up on a rocky shoal in northern Lake Huron may be the first step in unraveling a mystery in the disappearance of a Grosse Pointe Farms attorney who went missing along with her boyfriend two weeks ago as they boated to a Mackinac Island getaway.



The body of a woman found Wednesday in Hammond Bay may be that of Lana Stempien, 35. A lakeside resident spotted the body around 4:30 p.m. about a quarter of a mile north of the Hammond Bay Marina, Michigan State Police Sgt. Michael Powell said Thursday.



"The chances are 60% or greater that it's Lana's body," Powell said.

Still missing is Stempien's boyfriend, Charles (Chuck) Rutherford, 34.

rest of story at link

http://www.freep.com/news/mich/missing26e_20050826.htm

KrazyKollector
08-26-2005, 07:55 AM
Perhaps one of them had gone swimming (the water is in better condition out farther) and got into trouble so the other one jumped in, hoping to save the other and both drown. It says the motor was "on" but it doesn't say it was in gear moving, does it? I might have missed that part.


What time did they go out on the boat?

Since one person looks to be washed up, I am hoping it was just a horrible accident. Such a sad waste of two lives.:(

wondering22
05-13-2006, 08:41 PM
Bumping UP - featured on Dateline tonight.

wondering22
05-13-2006, 08:42 PM
Bumping UP - featured on Dateline tonight.


After January's feature, two sisters came forward, they saw the vacant boat near shore, with another boat speeding away from it. Quite interesting.

dulcinea
05-13-2006, 10:07 PM
After January's feature, two sisters came forward, they saw the vacant boat near shore, with another boat speeding away from it. Quite interesting.
I wonder if it was actually speeding away from the boat or it was near it and really has nothing to do with Lana's boat. Would Chuck have been able to arrange for someone to pick him up being so far away from home? If someone picked him up, I imagine it would be a stranger. Assuming they know of what happened, I believe they would have come forward by now.

wondering22
05-13-2006, 11:02 PM
They definitely said the boat was empty, near the shore, and there was another boat speeding away from it .... the impression I got, but that THEY DID NOT EVER SAY... was more like, something potentially really premeditated, with accomplices.

That was my IMPRESSION, and I could be totally mistaken; however, after listening to part of the interview with the black gentleman who described seeing him beating her up on the street, and how bizarre & violent his behavior was... well, his words were very credible to me, but I didn't catch the entire interview.

Maybe there will be a transcript? Or a TV rerun, sometime?

dulcinea
05-14-2006, 12:50 PM
I didn't see this interview with the man. It sounds like you're saying this man implied that Chuck violently beat Lana when they were ashore somewhere. Was there evidence on her body to suggest this when she was pulled from the water? If indeed something like this happened, surely there would be trauma to her. Why didn't this man call police if he saw something violent happen? Like I said, I didn't see this interview, so maybe I am missing something.

wondering22
05-14-2006, 04:02 PM
I didn't see this interview with the man. It sounds like you're saying this man implied that Chuck violently beat Lana when they were ashore somewhere. Was there evidence on her body to suggest this when she was pulled from the water? If indeed something like this happened, surely there would be trauma to her. Why didn't this man call police if he saw something violent happen? Like I said, I didn't see this interview, so maybe I am missing something.

Sorry, the time he saw the beating was on the street, and he said he was amazed by the hostile violence. It had nothing to do with the boat; I don't know how much earlier, how many weeks/months, whatever, that he saw them fighting and saw her beaten.

Also, another thing stated on that program is that she'd told....... two other people, CANT REMEMBER WHO, that if any ever "happened" to her, that he'd be an immediate POI... evidentally quite a few people, but I don't know on how many occasions, had witnessed his behavior when he was ANGRY with her; one time it was in a dinner club, and two policemen escorted him out.

I really knew nothing about this case before this show, and I was busy with some other things, and didn't have the opportunity to pay it the attention that your questioning requires.

Hopefully someone familiar with the case and watched Dateline will address your questions.

LvsAMystry
05-14-2006, 07:22 PM
I saw the show.

The man who came forward that saw him beating her was a witness several months prior who saw them outside a bar in Detroit at night and he was in his vehicle driving the same way also as they left. He saw Chuck beating her and she somehow got away, by car I assume, and Chuck was chasing her in his car. The man indicated he'd never seen someone so enraged -- Chuck even hit another car while giving chase, but kept going even with his airbag unleashed with him having to keep knock it out of the way. I'd say I'd remember a sight like that as well.

As far as her telling people that something may happen to her. Her two friends said they'd been watching television when something regarding the whole Laci Peterson case came on. It was then that she confided that she was afraid of Chuck and if anything happened to her, he'd be responsible.

I think he did her in and somehow managed to get someone to pick him up off the boat. There was evidence another boat had been tied to it. I believe he's alive and hiding.

wondering22
05-14-2006, 09:26 PM
I saw the show.

The man who came forward that saw him beating her was a witness several months prior who saw them outside a bar in Detroit at night and he was in his vehicle driving the same way also as they left. He saw Chuck beating her and she somehow got away, by car I assume, and Chuck was chasing her in his car. The man indicated he'd never seen someone so enraged -- Chuck even hit another car while giving chase, but kept going even with his airbag unleashed with him having to keep knock it out of the way. I'd say I'd remember a sight like that as well.

As far as her telling people that something may happen to her. Her two friends said they'd been watching television when something regarding the whole Laci Peterson case came on. It was then that she confided that she was afraid of Chuck and if anything happened to her, he'd be responsible.

I think he did her in and somehow managed to get someone to pick him up off the boat. There was evidence another boat had been tied to it. I believe he's alive and hiding.

Thank you SO much, I was unable to pay attention during that segment, and was previously unfamiliar with the case. I hope there's a transcript somewhere, sometime. The new details about her case turned out to be very interesting, with the new witnesses. From the little I know, I'd have to agree with your assessment that he's currently in hiding.

dulcinea
05-14-2006, 11:36 PM
Does anyone know if this car chase incident was reported to the police by anyone? Had I been a witness to this I would have been terrified. I can't understand why she would go on a trip alone with him if she really thought he might harm her.

LinasK
05-15-2006, 12:08 AM
I saw the show.

The man who came forward that saw him beating her was a witness several months prior who saw them outside a bar in Detroit at night and he was in his vehicle driving the same way also as they left. He saw Chuck beating her and she somehow got away, by car I assume, and Chuck was chasing her in his car. The man indicated he'd never seen someone so enraged -- Chuck even hit another car while giving chase, but kept going even with his airbag unleashed with him having to keep knock it out of the way. I'd say I'd remember a sight like that as well.

As far as her telling people that something may happen to her. Her two friends said they'd been watching television when something regarding the whole Laci Peterson case came on. It was then that she confided that she was afraid of Chuck and if anything happened to her, he'd be responsible.

I think he did her in and somehow managed to get someone to pick him up off the boat. There was evidence another boat had been tied to it. I believe he's alive and hiding.
I saw the Dateline show months ago, and I also got the gut impression Chuck is responsible and in hiding to play the victim. This girl was an expert boater, this was no accident, IMO ...

Tristan
05-15-2006, 04:35 AM
On the recent "Dateline" show, they stated as fact that the boat's GPS had been tampered with, so that no one would ever know where the boat had been that day.

The fact that Lana was found nude is very telling.
According to reports, it was much too cold for a skinny dip, and
the Swim Ladder was NOT down. Very, very troubling.

If her boyfriend had something to do with this, where could he be hiding
without having to use his bank accounts, credit cards, etc??

I seriously doubt this was an accident.

wondering22
05-15-2006, 09:30 AM
Does anyone know if this car chase incident was reported to the police by anyone? Had I been a witness to this I would have been terrified. I can't understand why she would go on a trip alone with him if she really thought he might harm her.

He went to the police, after he saw their photographs on the local television news, as he recognized them immediately.

Another thing her family mentioned, in regards to her nudity, is that whenever she went swimming, she always removed all of her jewelry and particularly an expensive watch she owned - but her jewelry & watch were still on when they found her body.

Tristan
05-17-2006, 03:39 AM
Yes, I saw that, too.

I'm so surprised that there is no more interest in this case....from the media
or from people here at Websleuths.

UM&AMWfan
04-16-2007, 07:11 AM
Wow, I'm also very suprised this case isn't getting a lot more interest on these boards when so many other cases are especially considering
this case is one of the most baffling ever.

It's amazing there hasn't been a post here in almost a YEAR for a case that's more mysterious and intriguing than most of the cases on here that get more attention!

mattsmom
04-17-2007, 09:13 PM
I just read through the thread kind of quickly. Did I miss it or is there no mention of an autopsy on Lana's body? Had she been in the water too long to determine cause of death?

LaWanda
04-18-2007, 12:54 PM
There is another thread with links to pics and more articles and info on the autopsy: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35044.