Body of missing Brownstown Township woman found

Published On: Mar 28 2013 01:55:11 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2013 05:50:47 PM EDT

The skeletal remains of Lizzie Man Sweet were found in a Brownstown river on Thursday

BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. -

Six years after 49-year-old Brownstown Township resident Lizzie Mae Collier Sweet went missing, her remains have been found.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's office identified the remains through dental records and anthropological testing, spokeswoman Sarah Bazzi said Thursday.

No cause of death has been released.

Watch: UNCUT - Police discuss finding Brownstown Twp. woman's body

The remains were found in a wooded area just west of the intersection of Wherle Drive and Dawnshire.

A man searching for deer antlers found her skull Feb.15 in Brownstown Township and took it to police. Police searched the area then, but found no other evidence.

Read more: Skull found, given to Brownstown Township police

The search was expanded to an 80-acre area.

"We did such a monstrous search for her, all over the area. Then to find her basically right in our back yard is just astonishing to me," said Brownstown Detective Lt. Bob Grant.

Grant said the victim's wallet and jacket were also found.

Special section: Lizzie Mae Collier Sweet's body found

The Wayne County and the Brownstown dive teams worked together during a search in water 4 to 6 feet deep.

Bones were found within a 100 yards of where the skull was originally discovered.

During a press conference, Brownstown Deputy Police Chief Robert Matthews said Sweet's family had been notified of the discovery, and they are relieved but mournful.

It is unknown if the body was moved or relocated, but police say it could have been submerged in the marsh or recently dug up by animals. Matthews said police are treating the investigation as a suspicious death at this time.

"I don't think we'll ever find out what really happened. I think only Roger Sweet knows what happened there," Grant said.

Brownstown search aerials 1
--Area where Lizze Mae Collier-Sweet's body was found in Brownstown Township

History of Lizzie Mae Collier Sweet's missing case

Roger Sweet Police found Lizzie Mae's Brownstown Township home burning on Jan. 7, 2007. Her husband, Roger Sweet, said he had no idea what happened to her.

Fire investigators concluded that the fire was intentionally set. Brownstown police Lt. Robert Grant said when the husband was asked about his wife's whereabouts, he said if he had to guess she was probably dead in the woods.

Friends told police that just prior to her disappearance Lizzie Mae purchased a handgun for her protection.

Roger Sweet, was sentenced in 2008 to 15 to 30 years in prison for the 1990 murder of his first wife, Marlene Sweet. He came under suspicion in that slaying after Collier-Sweet disappeared.

Roger Sweet's defense attorney, Jerome Sabbota, said his client pleaded no contest to murder because he was going to prison anyway.

Roger Sweet already had been sentenced earlier in 2008 to21 years and 10 months in prison on an unrelated federal case. Prosecutors said then that he produced pornography using a 16-year-oldmentally disabled girl.

He also was sentenced in a Wayne County court to10 to 17 years on related sex-assault charges.


--Lizzie Mae and Roger Sweet


--Home Lizzie Mae Collier-Sweet shared with her husband Roger Sweet

Brownstown Township Police will be holding a 3 p.m. press conference.

Stay with Local 4 and ClickOn Detroit.com as more information is released.

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