DETROIT – A corpse pulled out of a lake is that of a 50-year-old woman who disappeared two weeks ago from the gated suburban estate she shared with her 71-year-old boyfriend, police said Wednesday.
The body of Marilou Johnson, recovered from Cass Lake a day earlier, was positively identified by the county medical examiner through dental records, the Macomb County sheriff's department said in a news release. The medical examiner also found that Johnson died of two stab wounds to her heart. She also was cut across the right side of her neck.
David J. Wright, a 37-year-old self-employed plumber from Richmond, is being held without bond in the county jail on felony murder, kidnapping and larceny charges. Richard Powers has been assigned as his court-appointed lawyer.
Telephone messages seeking comment were left Wednesday at Powers' office in Mount Clemens.
Wright had told investigators that Johnson died June 14 when a fishing knife struck her in the neck as he tripped and fell during a robbery at the Washington Township estate.
Documents filed in court earlier this week stated that Wright lured Johnson to a trailer behind his pickup and placed the knife to her neck. After she was stabbed, Wright went into the 6,900-square-foot home and stole her designer purse.
He drove off with her body in the trailer, the documents said.
Wright told investigators he first buried Johnson's body near the lake in Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township. Wright said he came back several days later, put the body in a rowboat and dumped it in the lake after tying two cinder blocks to it.
Following his arrest Saturday, police said Wright told them where he dumped the body. Police divers from Macomb and Oakland counties began searching the lake Monday. They found the purse later that day, but did not locate the body.
Tuesday morning, a man using a fish locator came across what he thought might have been Johnson's body. He told authorities, and divers later hauled up the decomposing body.
Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said Johnson had been wrapped in a blanket, tied with a rope and weighted down with cinder blocks.