Mother of Venus Stewart speaks at burial 8 years after daughter killed

LEONIDAS, Mich. -- Venus Stewart, the young mother murdered by her husband in 2010, was finally laid to rest Saturday.

Stewart disappeared while out to get the mail from her parents home  in Colon Township nearly a decade ago.  She was going through a divorce from her husband, Doug Stewart, at the time.  Police believed Doug was responsible for the 32-year-old Venus going missing.

Volunteers from across West Michigan came out to help search for Venus.

At the burial Saturday, Venus's mother, Therese McComb, said of the time, "I knew she was always gone. I knew that."

Doug Stewart was eventually tried and convicted for the kidnapping and murder of his wife in 2011.   A friend of Doug's, Ricky Spencer, had initially provided an alibi for the time of murder. Doug Stewart had Spencer dress like him and stay at his Virginia apartment while he drove to Michigan to murder his wife. Spencer was eventually sentenced to a year in jail for his part in the crime.

"I'm just so grateful for everyone that showed up and showed support for my daughter and made a big deal about her, because she was a big deal to me," McComb said Saturday.

Investigators say they have gone to speak with Doug Stewart in prison once every year since his conviction in an attempt to pursuade him to give up the location of Venus's body. In 2017 he agreed to do just that.  After several months of paperwork and legal red tape, police brought him out to a wooded area in Wakeshma Twp and revealed where he had killed and buried Venus.  Police say Doug worked on the property chopping wood when he was 15.

An sort of closure hung in the air Saturday as loved ones gathered one last time to say their farewells to Venus Stewart.  Her mother Therese saying, "Im just glad its over with and I can put my baby where I know where she is at and I can take care of her now."

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