Cops Hunt Husband Charged With Murdering Wife in Michigan

The husband of a 34-year-old wife and mother was being sought by investigators for her murder Saturday after police found her torso in the garage of the family's Michigan home.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Stephen Grant, charging him with the murder of his wife, Tara Grant, as well as disinterment and mutilation. Tara Grant was first reported missing Feb. 9.

Grant's lawyer, David Griem, said that the missing husband may have killed himself, but cops denied that.

"We have new information that leads us to believe Stephen Grant has not committed suicide and is still alive," said Sheriff Mark Hackel.

Hackel said a family member had helped with information on Grant's location, and that the department had tracked phone calls Grant made within the past two hours.

"We have an idea of where he might be," Hackel said, adding Grant is believed to be alone and not receiving help.

Hackel said Tara Grant's torso was found in the family's garage after a widespread search began Friday night, and additional body parts were located in a nearby public park.

The car Grant was last believed to be driving — a yellow 2006 Dodge Dakota extended-cab pickup truck — was found late Saturday night, but there was no sign of Grant, cops said.

In a recent phone call, Griem said he tried to talk down Grant from suicidal thoughts.

"It is my belief that Stephen Grant committed suicide," Griem told FOX News, adding that the husband and father of two was "emotionally distraught and suicidal."

"I spent some significant period of time begging him to meet with me and reminding him of all the reasons why he had to live: the foremost being a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old who love him very much," Griem said.

"His specific words made it clear to me that he was going to end his life when he hung up from the second telephone conversation I had with him," he told FOX News.

Hackel said investigators were looking for other evidence and additional body parts in the search Saturday near the home that included land in and around Stony Creek Metropark. About 100 law enforcement personnel were on hand for the search, he said, and the search would start again tomorrow at 9 a.m.

The search was hampered by snow on the ground, but Hackel said body parts were found. He declined to release details.

"They were in various locations," he said.

The sheriff's department parked its mobile command post is along a muddy dirt road covered in snow and ice. Drivers have been traveling up and down the road, taking a peek at the police and throng of media at the site.

Representatives from the sheriff's department, the Michigan State Police and Metroparks police have been driving down a side road toward the search area.

Tara Grant has been missing since Feb. 9. Stephen Grant, 37, reported her missing five days later. Police say the day she went missing, the Grants argued over her frequent business trips abroad.

Throughout the search, Stephen Grant has maintained his innocence.

Hackel said Stephen Grant was detained Friday before the search began, but returned to his home, where he let investigators inside and later left. Hackel said investigators didn't have evidence at the time to hold him.

"We have to follow the law," Hackel told reporters in Washington Township. "I cannot infringe on people's individual rights."

Hackel said his office also was working with prosecutors to determine whether anyone misled investigators, and those people — who Hackel declined to identify — also could face charges in the case.

Of the charges being brought against Stephen Grant, open murder is punishable by up to life in prison without parole, while disinterment and mutilation carries a penalty of up to 10 years behind bars.

The truck authorities were searching for was apparently borrowed by Stephen Grant from a friend who wasn't aware that Grant would be sought as a suspect, Hackel said.

Griem said his client last was in the Detroit area, but he didn't know exactly where.

Griem learned of the search when Grant called him from the back of a police car on Friday. Grant later let investigators inside and was picked up by his sister, then went to stay with family members, Griem said Friday.

Deputies cordoned off entrances leading into the Grants' subdivision, the sheriff said, and a Michigan State Police mobile crime lab vehicle was at the house.

A 4 1/2-hour search last weekend through wooded areas near the couple's home 30 miles north of Detroit turned up no clues.

Tara Grant was working as an operations manager for Boise, Idaho-based Washington Group International, an engineering and construction firm with an office in the Detroit suburb of Troy. Her job regularly sent her to Puerto Rico.

The Grants have two children, a 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy who were staying Friday with Stephen Grant's sister, Kelly Utykanski of Sterling Heights. They did not see the search or their father being detained.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.