Chris Lockhart, the sole person of interest in his wife’s disappearance, was found dead Tuesday in his Portage, Michigan home.
According to a press release from the Portage Department of Public Safety, Chris’s death is being investigated as a possible suicide. Officers went to the Lockhart home shortly before 11:00 a.m. for a welfare check; Chris was wearing an electronic alcohol tether after being arrested for driving under the influence on July 17.
“Lockhart had missed his 10:00 a.m. report time and his tether indicated no movement for several hours,” the release said. “PDPS officers gained entry into the residence and located Christopher Lockhart deceased.”
NBC affiliate WOOD reports there were multiple police cars at the Lockhart home for hours on Tuesday afternoon. A medical examiner arrived shortly before 6:00 p.m.
Theresa Lockhart, Chris’s wife, disappeared on May 18, 2017. On Monday, Senior Deputy Police Chief of the Portage Police Division John Blue told Dateline Chris had not been cooperative with the investigation.
“He was not answering the questions, not providing us with any information,” Senior Deputy Chief Blue said. “It was pretty evident he didn’t want to cooperate, from the get-go.”
Chris did reveal to police, though, that he was the last person known to have seen Theresa.
“At about 6:00 p.m. on the 18th, we know Theresa left a gym [and went home],” Senior Deputy Chief Blue told Dateline. “The only information we got from the husband was she left the house again at 10:00 p.m. He didn’t say where she was going.”
The investigation into Theresa’s disappearance has included searches of waterways and wooded areas with “helicopters, canines, cadaver dogs, ATVs and kayaks.” It has also included four unrelated arrests for Chris.
Senior Deputy Chief Blue said crowds of media surrounded the Lockhart home this summer as the investigation into Theresa’s disappearance intensified, and neighbors began arguing with Chris about the street disturbance.
“The neighbor set up a camera system [aimed at the Lockhart] house,” Senior Chief Deputy Blue told Dateline Monday. “Chris went to snip the wires -- but didn’t snip all the wires -- so they had him on camera doing that.”
Chris was arraigned on July 7 on one count of interfering with electronic communications, a felony, and one count of malicious destruction of a building under $200, a misdemeanor.
As a condition of his bond for the July drunk driving arrest, Chris was not to consume alcohol and wore a mandated electronic alcohol tether. On July 31, he was charged with damage of property for destroying the tether. Authorities also cited Chris with a violation of his bond.
“So you have this series of four arrests in sequence,” Senior Chief Deputy Blue said. “He is definitely spiraling there, in his whole set of issues, and he is a person of interest in this case.”
Theresa’s sister Joan Mullowney told Dateline Monday that she isn’t sure if Chris had any involvement in the disappearance or not.
“He was the last person to have seen her that evening,” Joan told Dateline. “[But] whether or not Chris did something to her, or was involved in something that he shouldn't have been involved in and she had to escape for her own safety… I don't know.”
The PDPS press release said detectives “are continuing to investigate the death and look for information that might provide assistance in the location of Lockhart’s missing wife Theresa.”
Theresa Lockhart is described as 5’5” tall, weighing 115 lbs. with brown eyes and short dark hair. Anyone with information on Theresa Lockhart is asked to contact the Portage Department of Public Safety at 269-329-4567 or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100 to remain anonymous.
Theresa Lockhart was previously featured in Dateline’s Missing in America series.