Part 2: The Search For Evidence

No Body Found In Janet March Murder Case

A week into their investigation, police found Janet's car, parked in the lot of an apartment complex a few miles from the March house. They found personal effects, including a passport.

Three weeks after Janet March disappeared - with no credit card use, no phone calls home to check on the kids, and her car found with most of her belonging still packed inside - the police decided this was no longer just a missing persons case. It was a homicide.

The Levine family and their friends posted a $25,000 reward for information leading to the location of Janet March or her body.

The prime suspect was Perry March, and he refused police requests to interview him or his children. When he also refused to allow his house to be searched, police got a warrant.

Police carefully searched the house, as well as nearby woods, two lakes and a river. They found no body, and no evidence that a crime had been committed.

"In my 25 years of experience, I don't know of any other crime scene we've ever covered any closer than this one," says Nashville Crime Scene Investigator Johnnie Hunter.

"They couldn't find some other reason to explain Janet's being missing," says Perry. "They couldn't find anything. And there, it must be me!"

But there was one thing about the search that really bothered police, and still does. It wasn't what they found - but what they didn't find.

Perry told police that a list Janet had given him the night she left had been written on the home computer. The list was practically the only piece of evidence that backed up Perry's story. But police didn't believe him. They wanted to get their hands on the computer's hard drive, because they believed it would show that Perry, not Janet, had written the list.

But the hard drive was missing. Someone else had gotten to it first.

Perry says he didn't remove the hard drive: "There's two people that are high on my list who could have removed it. One of them is Larry Levine, and the other is my father."

Perry's father, Arthur March, had come to stay at Perry's house several days after Janet disappeared. Both Arthur March and Larry Levine deny removing the hard drive.

"Absolutely not. I had nothing to gain by trying to get at it," says Larry Levine, Janet's father.

Meanwhile, police became concerned about something else they didn't find - the tires on Perry March's car. Six days after Janet disappeared, Perry March replaced the tires with new ones.

"It was on my list!" says Perry. "The tires on the Jeep were bald. And she was worried the Jeep was going to be slipping in the rain and all this other kind of stuff and I was just knocking off the stuff on my list."

But according to the tire company, the tires didn't need to be fixed.

"In fact, they questioned that, why the tires were being changed, and Perry said he just didn't like the type tires that were on the car at the time and he wanted a different brand," says Detective Miller.

Yet even as invetigators became more and more convinced that he was involved in his wife's disappearance, they couldn't come up with enough evidence to charge Perry March with a crime.

However, there were a few people who had no doubt at all. And they were determined to bring him to justice.

When their daughter Janet first disappeared, Carolyn and Larry Levine struggled to make sense of their son-in-law's story.

"I believed him," says Carolyn. "But I guess I was suspicious."

One thing that troubled her was the appointment her daughter had talked to her about the day she disappeared. In fact, Janet had even asked her mother to go with her the next day to see a divorce lawyer.

When Perry March was named as a suspect and stopped cooperating with police, the Levines' suspicions grew. They are now sure that he killed their daughter.

How certain are they that Perry is the killer?

"Unconditionally positive," says Larry Levine.

But so far there haven't been any criminal charges against Perry March or anyone else. And the biggest reason for that, say police, is because Janet March's body was never found.

When you don't have a body, you don't have a cause of death, you don't have a time of death - and without those basic facts, and no eyewitnesses, prosecutors will tell you it's extremely difficult to convict anyone of murder.

So with the Nashville authorities reluctant to bring Perry to trial, the Levines decided to take up the battle themselves.

"We'd like some justice for Janet's death," says Larry.

The Levines filed a court action to stop Perry from taking Sammy and Tzipi out of town. But that very day, Perry moved with his children to Chicago.

The Levines then went to a Chicago court to file for visitation rights with their grandchildren. As they pursued visitation, the Levines also fought to keep everything of Janet's away from Perry, including her dream house.

They won a court-ordered grandparent visitation every other weekend.
But when the Levines showed up in a Chicago courtroom in the spring of 1999 to arrange a court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren, Perry didn't show up.

He had moved to Mexico with his two children. They settled into a new life in Ajijic, the Mexican town that his father, Arthur, had retired to six years earlier. Arthur helped his son get started on a new career as a financial and real estate advisor. And Perry enrolled Sammy and Tzipi in a bilingual local school.

"I've probably never seen them happier in their whole life than here," says Perry.

Perry and his children later moved in with Carmen Rojas, whom he met during his first week in Mexico, and her three children. They married within a year, just a little over two months after a Tennessee court declared Janet March legally dead.

"He's a great husband. He's sweet. He's perfect. He's perfect for me," says Carmen.

His old life in Nashville was a chapter Perry March was now more than ready to close. But what happened to his first wife, Janet?

"I've told the children the truth: that mommy left home, we don't know what happened to her. It's very sad, but that's the truth," says Perry.

Two months after Perry fled, the Levines filed a wrongful death claim against their former son-in-law in a Nashville civil court. When March failed to show up in court to fight the charge, the Judge ruled against him.

For the Levines, it was a vindication.

Perry felt he was far enough away that a Nashville court couldn't touch him. But he was totally unprepared for what the Levines did next.

Part III: A Bitter Custody Battle

Part I: Where Is Mrs. March?