Detective: Family 'relieved' to have Venus Stewart back

WAKESHMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Out of the thousands of stories she’s covered, former WOOD TV8 reporter Dani Carlson said the Venus Stewart case impacted her so deeply, she could never throw away all of her stories or notes, even after moving away.

“It’s just one of those stories that always really stuck with me. And Venus herself was only a couple years older than me when I started doing the story,” she told 24 Hour News 8 Monday, hours after learning that the missing mother’s remains had been found.

Carlson covered the case extensively during her time in West Michigan, from the search parties to the hearings at the St. Joseph County Courthouse in Centreville.

That’s where she met Doug Stewart shortly before he was charged with his estranged wife’s murder.

“It was nothing, nothing remarkable honestly, talking with him. And then it was just a couple weeks later that all this information came out: Doug was going to be arrested and that was the first time were heard the name Ricky Spencer. And the entire plot just unfolded from there,” she recounted.

Even after Doug Stewart was convicted of first-degree murder, he maintained his innocence. Which is why Monday’s development that Doug Stewart had led investigators to Venus Stewart’s body surprised her.



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