February 02, 2012GROSSE POINTE PARK - Hours after hundreds of friends and family paid their last respects to Jane Bashara at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, rumors swirled with facts in the week-long murder investigation.
The 56-year-old mother of two from Grosse Pointe Park was found dead in the back seat of her Mercedes-Benz SUV Wednesday morning, Jan. 25. The SUV was discovered at 9 a.m. in an alley near 7 Mile and Hoover on Detroit's east side. The autopsy showed the cause of death was strangulation.
Two days later, Park Chief of Police David Hiller said Bashara's husband, Bob, is a "person of interest" in the case, being investigated jointly by his department and the Detroit Police Department.
A photo of Jane Bashara from Facebook.
Another man, a possible accomplice to the crime according to reports, was interviewed by police Tuesday, Jan. 31. Police that night said there had been no arrests in the case.
Jane Bashara, 56, a well-known community volunteer, was reported missing by her husband around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24.
According to Bob Bashara, he returned to the family house on Middlesex at 8:05 p.m. Tuesday night and his wife was not there. He told police her purse and cell phone were missing, but her work identification card was there, leading him to believe she returned home at some point from her job as a marketing executive in Detroit's New Center area.
He told police he "relaxed," but became concerned around 9 p.m. and began calling family and friends to see if they knew Jane's whereabouts. He also tried reaching her on her cell phone. He contacted police at 11:30 p.m. to report her missing.
Bob Bashara was questioned by police on at least two separate occasions and said he was cooperating with police in the investigation.
At 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, he voluntarily submitted to a polygraph test, administered at Park police headquarters by an examiner from the Detroit office of the U.S. Secret Service.
Results of the test had not been released by the Grosse Pointe News deadline. Hiller refused to comment on reports that Bashara failed the polygraph, only saying the results have not been released.
While Bob Bashara was taking the polygraph test, Detroit detectives executed a search warrant for his house. Dogs from the K9 unit, including a cadaver dog, were involved in the search, which lasted nearly four hours. At approximately 9 p.m., detectives were seen leaving the house with two computers and a small box. Details of the search have not been released.
Bob Bashara returned home shortly after the police left his house and declined to comment to reporters.
Often referred to as "Big Bob" or "the mayor of Middlesex," Bob Bashara, 54, is also well-known throughout the Grosse Pointes.
Raised in Grosse Pointe Woods, he is the son of the late George Bashara, who was an attorney and judge. He also is past president of Grosse Pointe Rotary club and was active in Grosse Pointe Park Little League and at Grosse Pointe South High School where his late wife also served as president of the South Mother's Club.
A long-time acquaintance said Bob Bashara worked as a manufacturer's representative, selling first aid supplies. Bashara also is identified as the registered agent for B & B Investment Company, which is listed as the owner of several rental properties in the area, including the buildings that house Dylan's Raw Bar and the Hard Luck Lounge on Mack. Wayne County tax records show Bashara owed thousands in back taxes on those Grosse Pointe Park properties.
Hiller said he wouldn't speculate as to when charges could be filed.
Bashara retained criminal defense attorney John Brusstar. Another attorney, David Griem, visited Bashara at his house Tuesday, Jan. 31. After the meeting, Griem didn't confirm he was Bashara's attorney and indicated to the media gathered he would release more information Wednesday.
Griem is perhaps best known for his work defending Stephen Grant in his 2007. Grant was convicted of killing his wife after police found her dismembered body in Stony Creek Metropark in northern Macomb County.