The wife of a missing St. Charles man reportedly died more than six months ago, which has left some unanswered questions for at least one member of his family.
The wife of John Spira, Suzanne Spira, was found dead in her Orchard Park, NY, apartment on Oct. 30. His sister, Stephanie McNeil, said she learned of the death from an associate of Suzanne. Kevin Montgomery, the spokesman for the Erie County, NY, Health Department, confirmed Suzanne's death but said he could provide no further details.
McNeil, who grew up in Winnetka and now lives in Phoenix, said no one from the DuPage County Sheriff's Department, whose representatives say the department is actively investigating John Spira's disappearance, ever notified her of Suzanne's death.
Both DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba and department spokeswoman Dawn Domrose did not return calls for comment on the Spira case. McNeil said Zaruba also did not respond to two letters she has sent him about her missing brother.
"It's pretty significant information that John's wife, the person that I've been saying should be a person of interest (in the investigation) is dead, and they didn't even know," McNeil said. "Even if they did know and didn't tell us, it's shameful. But I really doubt they knew it."
Spira was 45 when he vanished in February 2007. He was last seen at the office of his cable construction company, where he left his parked car. Five months later, Spira's business burned down.
At the time of his disappearance, John and Suzanne Spira were in the midst of an acrimonious divorce, McNeil said. The couple lived in the same house throughout their divorce proceedings and the domestic arrangement was "hellish," McNeil said.
In an interview conducted just months before her death, Suzanne Spira denied that her relationship with her husband had turned toxic. But McNeil insists it was terrible and says she is certain Suzanne Spira knew what befell her brother.
McNeil has feuded with the DuPage County Sheriff's Department throughout the four years her brother has been missing over their refusal to classify his case as a homicide.
In April, McNeil requested that the sheriff's department share its investigative files on her brother's death and the fire at his business. The department refused to cooperate, stating the records are still "part of an ongoing investigative file."