Forty four year old teacher, Theresa Huyge Lockhart, went missing on the 18th of May 2017. She was reported missing two days later on the 20th.
Her vehicle was found at an incentive parking facility several miles from her home (10859 Poplar Bluff Ct, Portage, Michigan.)
Theresa was a Spanish Teacher at Schoolcraft Community Schools- a community college in Livonia, Michigan. Her Facebook profile, which is still active, states that she was also an adjunct instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, ZIN instructor at Zumba fitness and a cat lover. She grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but moved to Kalamazoo in around 2007 to be with her husband.
A quick scroll through her social media profile shows how loved and appreciated she was. She posted inspiring quotes, photography with poetic titles and one status update was of a picture of a vase of flowers with an attached note that read “Theresa- you are a wonderful addition to our staff :)”
Her profile picture was an image of her and her husband smiling.
All seemed well in the world of Theresa Huyge Lockhart, but what was the reality behind the highlight reel of sporadic social media posts really like?
According to this entry on crimewatchers.net those who knew the couple claimed that the missing woman’s husband, Christopher Lockhart, routinely shouted at her and on at least one occasion had verbally threatened to kill her. “I’ll f***ing kill you!” neighbours heard him scream.
It came as no surprise to those who knew him when he was fingered as a main suspect in Theresa’s missing person’s case. Not only had he been heard threatening violence against his wife, but Christopher Lockhart even had a domestic violence charges filed against him in Theresa’s name back in 2016. This resulted in a “no contact” order which Teresa eventually cancelled.
When residents of the neighborhood heard gun shots ring out into the quiet street at around 11:30 in the afternoon, they wasted no time contacting local authorities. When the police showed up, one neighbor shot a video of the conversation that took place between Christopher Lockhart and the officer. In the video Lockhart admits to hearing the gunshots, but denies that they came from his residence. Police leave and Lockhart takes off in his car.
This was one of several events that neighbors had documented . One video was even from November 2016, only six months before she went missing, and is an audio recording of Christopher Lockhart screaming at his wife around the time that she filed the domestic violence incident. The string of one-sided screaming matches were recorded originally as evidence, as the unidentified neighbour was tired of being constantly disturbed by a drunk Christopher Lockhart ranting and raving in the street. Theresa is never heard yelling back at her husband in the recordings.
The final video in the series of recordings shot by neighbours is a short clip of Lockhart swearing to himself frustrated while taking out the trash.
When questioned by police and interviewed by local news stations about what he believed happened to his wife, he hung the blame on various mental health problems he said she had been suffering from. He revealed that he wasn’t worried about her disappearance initially as he presumed she had gone to seek out help for her issues. Investigators visited hospitals in the area but did not find the missing woman in any of them.
Despite his insistence that she had most likely walked away, Lockhart refused to let police search the couples’ home in order to look for clues to Theresa’s disappearance. When he was accused of being uncooperative with authorities he rejected the claim, insisting that his wife had left of her own accord and that he was being treated unfairly. At this point, police were treating the case as a possible homicide investigation- not surprising considering the circumstances.
Despite her husband’s claims, Theresa’s own mother did not believe that her daughter would just walk away. She said in an interview that she believed something untoward had happened to her daughter. She told 24 Hour News 8 that she hadn’t had contact with Theresa in over 4 years due to Christopher Lockhart’s controlling ways. Lockhart rejected the accusation in a later interview and responded by telling the same news station that his wife had a bad relationship with her parents and that was the reason she wasn’t interested in communicating with them.
When searching for information on the couple, I found this report that says the pair met on a dating website in 2006 and were married within six months of meeting each other. Although he was charismatic and charming, Theresa’s mother admitted to finding him untrustworthy and taking a dislike to him.
By now, almost anyone reading the news reports and listening to interviews with Lockhart would get the impression that he was involved. He was painted by those around him as an abusive and violent man and the marriage was seen as tumultuous by those around him.
Although Theresa Lockhart’s mother hoped that her daughter had just gone into hiding in fear of an abusive husband, she was also concerned that her child had met a tragic end at the hands of a violent, controlling man.
Three weeks into Theresa’s disappearance police executed a warrant to search the Lockhart’s home. They searched the woodland nearby the area that her vehicle was found, as well as the highway, to no avail.
WWMT revealed in an online article on their website, published a few weeks later that the missing woman had the intention of handing in a letter of resignation to Schoolcraft. They did not elaborate on the reason why, or how this information was obtained, but Schoolcraft stated that they received no such letter from the 44 year old teacher. This report states that she was suffering from depression and planned to take leave and receive sick pay.
During the investigation Lockhart was arrest for tampering with his Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring bracelet. Around the same time he was also arrested for, strangely, cutting his neighbours internet and phone line. He was reported by a member of the public for general odd behaviour. In the 90’s he was even something of a peeping tom and was arrested for it back then.
Around October 2017 the net seemed to be closing in on Christopher Lockhart.
Police obtained warrants to search his computer and phone and turned up a suspicious search history, which involved internet searches for key words such as “GPS detector”. They also discovered he had continued to be active on dating websites despite being married, and when contacted the women he had been talking to said he had threatened them if they neglected to respond. Several women were dating him both before and after Theresa went missing with some even going on out of state dates with him.
Police discovered that he had purchased a photo frame with a hidden night vision spy camera inside and found a list tucked inside of a paperback book with items such as “hammer, screwdriver, towels, duct tape, gloves” written on it. A book on missing people and unsolved cases was highlighted as a point of interest.
In late October Christopher Lockhart was discovered dead at his home. He had hanged himself.
He neatly laid out various official documents regarding his estate and had written a suicide note dated the 23rd of October, 11:15am, admitting to the murder of his wife, 44 year old Theresa Lockhart.
“I killed her the night of 5/18/17. I choked her to death downstairs. I was drunk and we were arguing and I snapped” he wrote in the confession. “I am so sorry for this horrible act. I apologize to her mother, friends, family, and the community for this senseless act. I live with it every moment of the day and I miss her so much. I didn’t put her first that was my biggest mistake."
On a separate piece of paper, Lockhart had drawn a map to Theresa’s body, which he had buried near Allegan State Game Area forest. X marked the spot. The map was addressed to detective Hess and apologized for “taking her away from everyone”.
Police followed the map Lockhart left behind and finally recovered the body of Theresa Lockhart.
Thanks for reading everyone and happy holidays to all.
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