GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly a decade ago, the disappearance of a West Michigan mother of two captured the nation’s attention. This weekend, her case will be revisited on NBC’s “Dateline.”
Venus Stewart, 32, disappeared in 2010 after she walked out of her parents’ house in Colon Township, still in her pajamas, to check the mail. Though her body hadn’t been found, her husband Doug Stewart was convicted of her murder less than a year later.
On Sunday, “Dateline” will air a two-hour report on the case, telling the story of two families torn apart and now joined in healing. For the first time, both families sat down down together to publicly discuss the murder.
“You just don’t know what to believe. I really don’t want to think that my brother did anything terrible,” Jaime Hess, Doug Stewart’s sister, told “Dateline.”
“Nobody wants to believe that about anybody that they love,” Venus Stewart’s mother Therese McComb said.
When asked when she came to believe her brother was a murderer, Hess answered, “I don’t know, it probably took me a couple years.”
“I had an old employer, a summer employer that I had ran into grocery shopping, and she goes, ‘In your heart, do you think he did it?’ Yeah, I do,” she continued.
Hess acknowledged the prosecutor had a “really good case.”
In October, Venus Stewart’ family was finally given a sense of closure. In exchange for a few prison requests, Doug Stewart agreed to lead detectives to where he buried her in the woods about 12 miles away from her parents’ home.
A memorial service was held for Venus Stewart in December.