(WXYZ) - 7 Action News has confirmed that clothing Jane Bashara wore when she was killed has gone missing..
The Forensic Science Division Director for Michigan State Police, John Collins, tells Action News their crime lab never received the clothing.
Pat Dostine, a spokesperson for the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office, tells Action News the office received a request from the Grosse Pointe Park Police Department for the clothing about five to six days after the autopsy had been completed. But the request was too late. After completing the autopsy, the medical examiner’s office followed protocol and released the body and the clothes to the A.H. Peters Funeral Home, which handled Bashara’s funeral arrangements.
One source close to the investigation says Grosse Pointe Park police should have had control of the evidence as soon as the medical examiner was done with its investigation, but others say at that time, the Detroit police were handling part of the case since the body had been discovered in Detroit.
In a statement to the media, Detroit police said, “"There were items of clothing that was recovered from the body of Jane Bashara and sent to Michigan State police lab for testing." But MSP said they never received it. At this time, Grosse Pointe Park police have not commented on the missing clothes.
Action News reached out the David Kesner, the manager of the funeral home. He declined to comment on the on-going investigation, and would not say if the clothes had been returned to the family or if they were destroyed.
Collins declined to comment further specifically about the Bashara case, but said in situations where a victim has been strangled, like Jane Bashara was, the clothes a victim is wearing can be critical to linking a suspect through DNA.
Our source close to the investigation, however, characterizes the loss of Jane Bashara's clothes as a minor setback. "Trace evidence like hairs, etc. on her clothing would have minimal value, if any, in linking her to Bob Bashara since they lived together. The DNA evidence investigators do have is very strong against Gentz."
Jane Bashara was found murdered in her Mercedes-Benz SUV on Detroit's east side on January 25. The Wayne County Medical Examiner determined that she had been strangled.
Joseph Gentz, the man who sources say admitted to playing a role in her murder, has been charged with First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to commit murder in the case.
The warrant charging Gentz with Conspiracy says that he "unlawfully conspired with another known individual to commit murder - 1st degree premeditated." However, it does not name the second individual.
Jane Bashara's husband, Bob Bashara, is still considered a person of interest in the investigation.
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