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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005

    MI - Dawnette Harrell, 29, Traverse City, 1 April 2006

    State police issued a missing person's alert for a pregnant Traverse City woman who disappeared from a local department store parking lot.

    Dawnette Marie Harrell, also known as Dawnette Hart, was last seen by a friend at 3 a.m. on April 1 near Kmart at Cherryland Center on the corner of Garfield Avenue and South Airport Road.

    The friend dropped Harrell, 29, off in the Kmart parking lot and drove away as she walked to her car, said Brett Nichols, a trooper with the Michigan State Police Traverse City post.

    Her brother-in-law found Harrell's red Toyota Tercel locked in the parking lot about five days later, said her mother, Donna Hart.

    "Dawn had never gone more than three days without seeing me or calling me or her sister," Hart said. "We just have to know if something terrible has happend to her."

    Hart said that Harrell was "extremely happy" she was pregnant and had several medical appointments scheduled in town.

    Harrell moved back in with Hart after separating from her husband the day she disappeared, Hart said.

    "I do not believe she would have made all these appointments and then just disappear," Hart said. "Everything was fine. She was so happy."

    Harrell was 10 weeks pregnant in April and has a due date in November.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

    Missing Since: April 2, 2006 from Traverse City, Michigan
    Classification: Missing
    Date Of Birth: November 15, 1977
    Age: 28
    Height: 5'1"
    Weight: 98 lbs
    Hair Color: Brown
    Eye Color: Blue
    Race: White
    Gender: Female
    <LI>Distinguishing Characteristics: Medium complexion.
    Tattoo of a blue "dolphin" on outside calf of left leg, outlined
    tattoo of a quarter "moon" on navel. <LI>Medical Conditions: She was 10 weeks pregnant at time
    of disappearance (due in November 2006). <LI>Clothing: Red zip-up jacket, white pants, black
    athletic shoes. AKA: Dawnette Hart
    Case Number: 71-1129-06
    <LI>NCIC Number: M-335669779

    Details of Disappearance
    Dawnette was last seen at approximately 3:00am being dropped off by a friend in a parking lot of a retail store in the vicinity of Garfield Rd. and South Airport Rd. in Traverse City, MI.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    north carolina
    This sounds fishy to me, I hope they really check this friend. What I cant understand is why she was being dropped off at a kmart parking lot at 3am. I also wonder about the babys father.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by cynpat2000
    This sounds fishy to me, I hope they really check this friend. What I cant understand is why she was being dropped off at a kmart parking lot at 3am. I also wonder about the babys father.

    It doesn't say if the friend was a man or woman. A woman would usually watch until her fiend got inside her own car and drove off. I know I always do even if I drop someone off at their home I stay and watch until they get into the house.

    She had just left her husband that day so things must not have been good in the marriage. I think the article said that she had moved back in with her mom that same day. Makes me wonder about the problems in the marriage and if her husband could have been watching her from some place and then appeared after the friend left and before she got to her car. If a man dropped her off that would really ignite a fire.

    I hope that she is found safe somewhere. If not, another pregnant woman gotten rid of by a husband or boyfriend. This just happens to often.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Where is Dawnette Harrell?

    Since her disappearance in April, there has been no sign or word of Dawnette Harrell, the missing young woman with the fair skin and dark ponytail who has appeared on billboards around Northern Michigan.
    The Michigan State Police have a foot-thick file of the investigation of the missing Traverse City woman, who was last seen in the wee hours of April 2. Harrell, who was about 10 weeks pregnant at the time, left behind a letter that indicated she was leaving the country with the “real father” of her baby, but police are still investigating the possibility of foul play.
    Police have interviewed her boyfriend, her husband with whom she was separated, her friends, and family members. Police declined to name their strongest suspects or whether they passed lie detector tests, as it might compromise the investigation.
    But officers did say the case is still active and, in fact, were questioning another person last week.
    A few days before her disappearance, Harrell and her boyfriend repeatedly discussed what they should do about the baby. On April 1, the day before Harrell disappeared, she had moved out of her trailer at the North Star trailer park in Honor and into her mom’s Traverse City home. She called her estranged husband, Tim Harrell, to help her clean the trailer, but he declined since he had not lived there for some time.
    Also on that day, Harrell worked at the Michigan Discount Cigarette Outlet in Traverse City.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    The first article said that her and her husband had seperated the day she moved back in with her mother but it sounds like they had been seperated for awhile if her husband refused to help her clean the trailer because he hadn't lived there for awhile. It doesn't sound like the husband had a bone to pick or it seems like he would have gone right over after she called and had it out with her. As she called him it doesn't sound like she was afraid of him either.

    Someone had to have been waiting for her in that parking lot. Maybe they were inside her car and had their car parked elsewhere so she wouldn't see it.
    Seems like it would have been someone who knew her and knew she had left her car there and would be dropped off there or someone that followed her to the parking lot.

    I can't imagine dropping someone off in an empty parking lot and not staying until they had unlocked, gotten into their car and driven off. Somone is probably feeling all kinds of guilt for not waiting.

    If her and her boyfriend planned on taking off....is he still around or did he disappear too at the same time? Maybe he changed his mind and decided that he didn't want to be tied down with a girlfriend and baby. Maybe a baby wasn't something that he bargained for. I sure wish she would be found.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Detectives say they are getting closer to solving the case. Now investigators believe Harell did not leave on her own and they have reason to believe she could be in danger. Investigators are hoping new billboards will encourage people to step forward and supply the missing piece of the puzzle. Michigan State Police Sergeant Mark Harris said, "It's critical that we keep her in the public eye and these billboards are another way to continuously see her face and name." If you have any information on Dawnette Harrell's disappearance, or saw her after April 1st, 2006, you are asked to contact the Michigan State Police immediately.

    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    If her and her boyfriend had been discussing about what to do about the baby I wonder if they were both wondering what to do or if one didn't want it and the other did. Maybe she wanted to keep it and he didn't and he decided to eliminate both of them.

    If she was with the boyfriend until 3 in the morning he may not have actually dropped her off at her car near WalMart. He might have just said that he did.
    I guess there were not cameras outside in the parking lot where her car was parked or was it actually parked there?

    I hope LE has the evidence that they need and make an arrest soon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    On the Third Coast



    Officer says body was near house

    TRAVERSE CITY — Within view of her accused killer's home, the skeletal remains of Dawnette Harrell's arm lay exposed from a hole, waiting to be discovered more than a year after her disappearance.
    Donna Hart, Harrell's mother, sobbed as Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Mark Harris on Monday described the discovery of her daughter's body.
    Harris testified during the preliminary examination for Justin Stair in 86th District Court. Stair is accused of killing the pregnant Harrell in April 2006.
    Stair, the apparent father of Harrell's unborn child, faces an open count of murder and a count of assault of a pregnant individual after he allegedly shot and killed Harrell at his parents' Whitewater Township home on Samels Road.
    State police worked on the missing woman's case for more than a year before they discovered her body May 3.



    Stair, 20, allegedly fathered Harrell's unborn child and was the last person to see the Traverse City woman before she disappeared last April 2006.
    Authorities allege Stair shot and killed Harrell, 29, at his parents' Whitewater Township home on Samels Road, buried her body about 80 yards from the house, then stashed her purse, car keys and a .32 revolver in the ceiling tiles of the home.
    He faces an open count of murder and one count of assault of pregnant individual; both are potential life sentences. Nearly 20 of Stair's friends and family sat in the courtroom as his preliminary exam resumed Friday. It was postponed Aug. 6 when the prosecution's medical experts were unavailable to testify.
    Forensic pathologist Michael Markey conducted the autopsy on Harrell's partially decomposed body in May and was in court Friday to establish how she died.
    "In my opinion, the cause of her death was a gun shot to the head,” Markey said. "In cases such as this we do the best we can with the state of the body.”


    Michigan State forensic anthropologist Todd Fenton testified that he was able to identify Harrell's body through dental records.
    "There were several fillings that matched neatly,” he said.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Chico, CA

    Defense Calls Witnesses in Murder Trial

    Today was the defense's turn to call witnesses in the murder trial of Justin Stair.

    Stair is accused of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Dawnette Harrell in April of 2006.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tried to post a link, but no luck. Found the appeal docs for JS. He was convicted of first degree murder and assault of a pregnant woman. Received life in prison for murder & 18-50 years for the assault. I did not find any articles following his appeal in 2010 to see what came of that.

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