PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Neighbors say a Portage man named as a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife often shouted at her and, on at least one occasion, threatened to kill her.
Theresa Huyge Lockhart, a 44-year-old teacher in Schoolcraft, has not been seen since May 18. Her car was found a few miles from her home, but it was empty. Police told 24 Hour News 8 on Monday that there is still no sign of her.
The Lockharts live in a suburban Portage neighborhood. Neighbors say that last summer, Christopher Lockhart started shouting and ranting at his wife. One neighbor who asked not to be identified said they started recording the rants because they were sick of the disturbance.
In one audio recording from about a year ago, a man who neighbors say is Christopher Lockhart can be heard shouting, “I’ll f***ing kill you.”
In the recording, the shouting man repeats obscenities. At one point, he mentions something about a wife. His is the only voice that can be heard.
That behavior, paired with the November 2016 domestic violence case against Christopher Lockhart in which his wife was listed as the victim, has neighbors worried.
“I think some people are apprehensive. I think the women are more cautious,” the neighbor said.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the week after she was reported missing, a neighbor recorded another video. In it, you can hear what Portage police say sounds like shots from a rifle. It’s difficult to say where the shots were coming from and there is a shooting range nearby. Regardless, neighbors called police. In the video, Christopher Lockhart’s car can be seen pulling out of and then quickly back into his garage. Responding police officers chat with him, after which he leaves again.
In a final video recorded Friday, Christopher Lockhart can be seen taking out the trash, slamming the trash can lid and shouting curse words.
Theresa Lockhart’s best friend, Michelle Addington, has been concerned about her for weeks.
“(The videos) make me more anxious than ever, and concerned,” Addington said. “There was obviously more problems and greater depths to the problems she was facing than any of us realized.”
Lockhart was reported missing by the school she worked for, not by her husband.
Monday, Christopher Lockhart was in and out of his home, but did not answer the door when 24 Hour News 8 knocked seeking comment.
Over the weekend, he told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone that he was not involved in his wife’s disappearance. He claimed she has battled mental illness and that may be linked to her disappearance. He said she assumed she was going to get help when she left, so he “wasn’t really too worried about it at that point.”
Police tried to take a look around inside his home, but said he did not allow them inside. They say he’s not cooperating, but he argued he is.
“I basically told them the same story I’m telling you — that she up and left. She’s done this before,” Lockhart told 24 Hour News 8. “I’m terribly worried about her. … I’m holding out hope that nothing has gone wrong.”
–24 Hour News 8’s Brady Gillum contributed to this report.