Dateline: Unforgettable - What happened to Venus Stewart?

Venus Stewart
Venus Stewart's remains were found in 2018, over ten years after she went missing (Image via NBC)

Venus Stewart, from Newport News, Virginia, was reported missing in April 2010 by her parents, Therese and Larry McComb. At the time of her disappearance, the mother-of-two was residing at her parents' house in Colon Township, Michigan, after having moved out of her Virginia home with her daughters, where she lived with her husband, Doug Stewart.

A subsequent investigation into the missing person's report revealed a sinister plot and gruesome murder orchestrated by the estranged husband Doug, who had little help from an accomplice. Nonetheless, the victim's body was only found in 2018, more than eight years after the disappearance.

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An upcoming episode of Dateline: Unforgettable is slated to revisit the mysterious case of Venus Stewart, who disappeared without a sign, leaving behind a strenuous puzzle. The episode, Finding Venus, will re-air on Oxygen this Tuesday, February 7, at 6.00 pm ET.

The synopsis reads as:

"Venus Stewart stepped outside her door and vanished; investigators suspected her ex, but he had an alibi; a video gamer's tale had detectives seeing double and exposed the truth."

Venus Stewart's estranged husband bought a shovel, gloves, and tarp a day before the former went missing

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In April 2010, Venus Stewart, 32, mysteriously disappeared from her parents' house in Colon Township, Michigan, after going outside to check the mailbox. Her wallet and other personal belongings, according to the police, were left inside the home and there was physical evidence of a suspected fight outside the house, given that the gravel driveway had visible indications like deep grooves on it.

The mother-of-two, who had previously sought protection orders against her husband and the father of her girls, Doug Stewart, was residing with her parents at the time of her disappearance. Venus had reportedly moved back to her home state with her two daughters from Newport News, Virginia, where the couple were living after their move from Michigan to start over in her tumultuous marriage.

Authorities immediately suspected Venus' 29-year-old estranged husband Doug. According to search warrant tabulations submitted by police in May 2010, they searched his pickup truck in Newport News, Virginia, and discovered possible blood and a Walmart receipt that showed that he bought a shovel, gloves, and tarp the day before Venus went missing.


"A part of me was so scared because then I'd have to face it": Venus Stewart's mother stated she would never fully heal from the loss of her daughter

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Subsequently, in June 2010, Doug Stewart was arrested and charged with first-degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder in relation to the disappearance and killing of Venus Stewart. He was later convicted on both the charges by a jury but maintained his innocence.

During Doug's February 2011 trial, Ricky Spencer, a key witness and alleged accomplice in the case, claimed that he posed as Stewart's imposter in Virginia while the latter drove to Michigan to kill Venus Stewart and assist him in giving a credible alibi to investigators. During his stay at Newport News, Spencer allegedly donned his clothes and used his credit card.

However, Venus Stewart's body remained missing regardless of the hundreds of searches conducted by investigators, which were to no avail until October 2018, when Doug admitted to killing the mother-of-two, leading authorities to the rural Kalamazoo County field where her remains were found buried.

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Over eight years after her death, Venus's family was finally able to bury her next to her father, who died a year before her remains were discovered.

Her mother, Therese McComb, claimed that although discovering her daughter's remains provided some closure, she would never fully heal from the loss of both her daughter and her closest friend, adding:

"I wanted her to be found so bad, but then a part of me was so scared because then I'd have to face it. It would become more real to me."

Tune in to Oxygen's Dateline: Unforgettable this Tuesday, February 7, at 6.00 pm to catch this intriguing case.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury
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