MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – From a hospital bed more than 200 miles from the home he fled, Stephen Grant told police why, how and where he strangled and mutilated his wife, Tara, according to documents released Friday by prosecutors.
The family's 19-year-old live-in nanny, or au pair, also admitted to authorities in March that she had a sexual relationship with Stephen Grant, the police report said.
Grant said he and his wife were arguing in the upstairs of their suburban Detroit house Feb. 9 over what he said were her frequent work trips.
She walked away, he said, and he grabbed her wrist. Tara Grant then slapped him in the face, causing a scratch to his nose.
Stephen Grant, 37, told police he then hit his wife hard in the head and she fell to the floor.
Tara Grant, 34, told her husband that she would call the police, and he would go to jail for striking her, according to the account. The end result, he claims she said, would be that he would lose custody of the couple's two young children.
Stephen Grant told police that he then began to choke his wife. He said he covered her face with a gray-colored shirt or pair of underwear.
"She finally grabbed my hand at one point, but it was too late then and I couldn't stop," he said, according to the police report. "I knew I was going to prison. I panicked."
Grant said his children — a 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy — never woke up during the nighttime altercation.
He told police that after his wife stopped moving, he placed a belt around her neck and tightened it. He dragged Tara Grant down the stairs using the belt and tried to put her in the back of her sport utility vehicle.
The belt broke, he said, and his wife's head fell on to the concrete floor of the garage.
Grant said he managed to put her in the back of the SUV and covered her with a plastic liner.
Two days later, he said, he drove the vehicle to the nearby tool and die shop in which he worked. There, he attempted to cut her body with a tree saw, but it was difficult, he told police.
Grant said he vomited and drank alcohol to help him complete the task.
He told police that he broke band saw blades into large pieces, wrapped a rag around one end, then used them to cut the body into pieces.
Grant said he placed the head, torso and other body parts into plastic bags and loaded all of them into a larger container. He then drove to his Washington Township home with the body parts stored in the rear cargo area of the vehicle.
The account is part of about 230 pages of information released after numerous Freedom of Information Act requests and motions by Grant's defense attorneys to suppress personal information about him, including what authorities have called his "graphic" confession.
Grant talked to police while he was recovering from frostbite and hypothermia after being captured March 4 in a wilderness area at the tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. He slipped away on March 2 while police were searching the Macomb County house he had shared with Tara Grant until her disappearance.
He is in the county jail awaiting a May 15 preliminary hearing on charges of murder and mutilation of a corpse.
According to the police report released Friday, the county sheriff's department said officers on Feb. 17 met with the Grant family's German au pair, Verena Dierkes, and her Au Pair America counselor. During the meeting, Dierkes provided investigators with an account of the night Tara Grant last was seen as well as a description of her relationship with Stephen Grant.
Dierkes said she had been at a restaurant with fellow au pairs on the night of Feb. 9. She said she returned to the Grant home and that Stephen Grant yelled at her — then apologized when he realized who had entered the home.
Dierkes denied any sexual relationship with Stephen Grant at the time of the Feb. 17 meeting with police.
She returned to Germany on Feb. 21, a decision made by Au Pair America, pending the ongoing investigation into Tara Grant's disappearance.
Police were contacted by Dierkes after the March 2 search of the Grant home and Stephen Grant's flight north. She said Grant called her and admitted killing his wife, but said he pushed her and she fell.
Dierkes admitted to police during that conversation that she had engaged in a sexual relationship with Grant, and they had slept together after Tara Grant's disappearance.
She said she had known nothing of the killing or the remains later found in the garage.
In the days after Tara Grant vanished, Grant insisted in numerous media interviews that his wife had left their home following an argument and that he had nothing to do with her disappearance. He also told reporters police had told him he was the focus of the investigation.
Defense attorney Stephen Rabaut had argued that releasing Grant's confession or other information would compromise his right to a fair trial. But earlier this month, Judge Denis LeDuc of 42nd District Court in Romeo noted Grant's previous openness in rejecting the motion.
Grant "actively sought out media, making numerous statements and giving out interviews published nationwide," LeDuc said. "I find great irony that the defendant now raises the issue of pretrial publicity."
A message seeking comment was left for Rabaut on Friday.
He told The Associated Press after LeDuc's April 3 decision that it was "unfortunate."
Rabaut said the confession Grant gave police might not be allowed as evidence even with its release.
"Its admissibility is highly suspect," he said.