PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Christopher Lockhart, the husband of missing teacher Theresa Lockhart, was discovered dead in his Portage home Tuesday, police say.
The Portage Department of Public Safety said there are indications Christopher Lockhart may have killed himself.
He was the main person of interest in his wife’s disappearance more than five months ago.
A release from Portage DPS late Tuesday afternoon said officers went to the home on Poplar Bluff around 10:50 a.m. to conduct a welfare check on Christopher Lockhart because he had missed a 10 a.m. check-in with authorities and the electronic tether he was wearing had not shown any movement for several hours. When they entered the home, they found Lockhart’s body.
For hours, there were multiple police cars at the Lockhart home in a neighborhood west of Oakland Drive, and Poplar Bluff was blocked off to Oak Leaf Trail. A medical examiner arrived at the home shortly before 6 p.m.
Police said they are still looking for Theresa Lockhart. She was last seen May 18 and was reported missing two days later by her employer. Her car was found just a couple miles from her home at a park-and-ride off of Angling Road, but there was no sign of her. Police have said the case could become a homicide investigation.
>>Inside woodtv.com: The search for Theresa Lockhart
In June, police spent 29 hours at the Lockharts’ Portage home. Police were not specific about what their search recovered, but said shortly thereafter there were no new significant developments in the case. They returned last month for a second search.
In an interview with 24 Hour News 8 a few days before the June search, Christopher Lockhart denied having anything to do with his wife’s disappearance.
THERESA LOCKHART’S FRIEND STILL HOPES FOR ANSWERS
One of Theresa Lockhart’s close friends told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday that at this point, loved ones don’t believe she is alive.
“At this point, we still can only speculate the same as what we could’ve since May,” Michelle Addington said. “She’s not one to leave and go somewhere on her own. The police have made it very clear there’ve been no signs of life, as in her credit cards aren’t used, there no signs that she’s out there.”
Addington said she found out about Christopher Lockhart’s death in a flood of text messages from friends.
“Immediate disappointment and sadness because it’s another tragedy,” Addington recalled feeling. “We’re obviously thinking and concerned about the two children, his two children, but also everybody’s concerned what does this mean for finding information about Theresa?”
She added that she wasn’t shocked at the death, saying she had noticed him decline since his wife disappeared.
After his wife vanished, he was arrested multiple times on unrelated charges and eventually pleaded guilty to two felonies in September.
When asked where she thinks the case can go now that the main person of interest is dead, Addington replied, “That’s really a great question.”
“I would think that allows the police more access that they would perhaps be able to look into things that they couldn’t before,” she said.
She hoped Christopher Lockhart left a note or other clue that could eventually give closure to Theresa Lockhart’s friends and family.
“One way or another, we need to be able to know how we can move on,” Addington said.
The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office said it searched a rural, wooded area Tuesday, but wouldn’t confirm to 24 Hour News 8 whether it was related to the Lockhart case.
Anyone with information about where Theresa Lockhart may be is asked to call Portage police at 269.329.4567 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.