Venus Stewart, a young mother of two, went out to the mailbox one morning in her pajamas and hadn’t been seen since. She left her purse, her car, her kids – she left everything behind. She and her two children were staying at her parents’ home in Michigan. Her father called 911 that morning. When a young person disappears, police usually ask family to wait 24-48 hours. Stewart was 35. But one police officer sensed Venus didn’t just leave on her own volition. He was correct.
Venus Stewart was abducted and killed by her estranged husband Doug Stewart. Doug had an accomplice, a friend named Ricky Spencer, who acted as Doug’s impostor and alibi after Doug killed Venus. Spencer dressed like Doug and used Doug’s credit cards in Virginia while Doug was killing his wife in Michigan, 700 miles away. Spencer testified that he was hoping Doug wouldn’t go through with it but he did agree to help Doug carry out his plan. One year later, in 2011, Doug Stewart was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He continues to plead his innocence. Stewart’s body has not been found. Dateline NBC will feature the murder case of Venus Stewart on May 17 at 7pm.