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Did Police Intentionally Cover Up Murder? Judge Could Send Case To Trial

GROSSE POINTE WOODS (WWJ) - A federal judge is expected to rule whether a lawsuit against Grosse Pointe area police over an alleged murder and cover-up will go to trial.

JoAnn Matouk-Romain disappeared after she attended a local church in early 2010. Her body was found two months later by fishermen in the waters off Amhersberg, Ontario, about 30 miles downstream from where she disappeared.

Police classified Matouk-Romain's death as suicide by drowning, but her daughter, Michelle Romain, tells WWJ that police were complicit with her mother's killers. In a $100 million lawsuit, Romain accuses them of trying to make her mother's death look like a suicide, along with tampering with evidence and witness statements.

"There was no current, there were divers out there for days upon days -- there was no body where they assumed she had gone into the water," Romain said. "We've always thought that she was abducted from the church and dumped elsewhere."

Speaking with WWJ's Charlie Langton, Romain accuses police of covering for her mother's estranged cousin, Tim Matouk, a then-Harper Woods police officer. A witness says police never investigated his claim that he saw Matouk-Romain with her cousin and another man on the lakefront the night she disappeared.

"My mom had stated her extreme fear and concern for him before this occurred," said Romain. "She also had indicated that she was reluctant to go to the local police because they were friends with this estranged family member that was a police officer, and they would not do anything to help her."

Grosse Pointe Police filed a motion for the lawsuit's dismissal. They have claimed their evidence shows Matouk-Romain committed suicide by drowning.

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