GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thumbing through old photos Tuesday afternoon, Loretta Huyge looked back fondly on memories of her daughter, Theresa Lockhart.
“That’s Theresa,” she showed 24 Hour News 8 as she pointed at a 4-by-6 picture. “She loves cats.”
The snapshots were taken well before police showed up at Huyge’s door to deliver the news: her daughter had vanished. Lockhart, a 44-year-old teacher, hasn’t been seen in nearly three weeks.
Huyge doesn’t believe her daughter would just run away.
“No,” she said. “I believe something happened to her.”
Exactly what happened remains a mystery.
Huyge suffered a stroke four years ago and is still working to fully regain her speech. She agreed to talk with 24 Hour News 8 on Tuesday under the condition that her face would not be shown.
Theresa Lockhart spent much of her life living at the Grand Rapids home where her mom still resides. She graduated from Kelloggsville High School and then got her degree from Aquinas College. Eventually, she moved south, marrying Christopher Lockhart in the Kalamazoo area in 2007.
That’s when things changed, Huyge said. Christopher Lockhart was charming and funny at first, but Huyge didn’t trust him.
Eventually, Huyge lost all contact with her daughter. She hasn’t seen her in four years and claims Christopher Lockhart is the reason why.
“He controlled her and wouldn’t let anybody see her,” Huyge said.
In a phone interview Saturday, Christopher Lockhart told 24 Hour News 8 a different story. He said his wife was estranged from her mother and did not have a good relationship with her dad, who has passed away.
But Portage police have named Christopher Lockhart — who was previously charged in a domestic violence case involving his wife and has at least three peeping convictions — the sole person of interest in her disappearance. He has denied involvement.
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t put it past him,” Huyge said when asked if Christopher Lockhart could have killed her daughter.
Huyge hopes that her daughter is somehow still alive and perhaps hiding out somewhere, but fears something horrible happened.
“If they (police) should blame him (Christopher), I hope he burns in hell,” Huyge said.
There have not been any arrests in the case. Christopher Lockhart has not be labeled a suspect — only a person of interest. Police are actively investigating, but on Tuesday refused to comment on specific details.
Anyone with information is asked to call Portage police at 269.329.4567 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.