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Missing Man John Spira's Wife Dead For More Than Six Months — Did Cops Have a Clue?

The DuPage County Sheriff's Department claims they are actively investigating the disappearance of St. Charles man John Spira but didn't bother telling his family his wife was dead, if they even knew about it themselves.

The sister of missing St. Charles man John Spira has insisted for years that her brother's estranged wife knew more about his disappearance than she was letting on.

Whether she was right or not, the sister, Stephanie McNeil, will never find out. Spira's wife died six months ago.

The wife, Suzanne Spira, was found dead in her Orchard Park, NY, apartment on Oct. 30. McNeil said she learned of the death from an associate of Suzanne Spira. Kevin Montgomery, the spokesman for the Erie County, NY, Health Department, confirmed Suzanne Spira'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 claim to be actively investigating John Spira's disappearance, ever notified her of Suzanne Spira's death.

"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 the husband who wanted to leave her had turned toxic. But McNeil insists it was terrible and says she is certain Suzanne Spira knew what befell her brother.

Not only that, but 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.

"It just makes me sick to my stomach," she said. "I find it really tragic, the whole situation is tragic."

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, claiming the records are still "part of an on-going investigative file."

McNeil has appealed to the Illinois Attorney General's Office to overturn the rejection. She points to the lack of communication from the DuPage County Sheriff's Department as proof that they are not keeping tabs on the case.

"How they can deny my F.O.I.A. request based on it being an open investigation is beyond me when they didn't even know John's wife has been dead for six months," McNeil said.

Both DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba and department spokeswoman Dawn Domrose failed to return calls for comment on the Spira case. McNeil said Zaruba has also failed to respond to two letters she has sent him about her missing brother.

"I would love to hear what Sheriff Zaruba has to say," said McNeil, who does not expect the DuPage County sheriff or his investigators to willingly abide by the freedom of information laws.

"They're going to hide it," she said.

McNeil is still waiting for the attorney general's office to rule on her appeal of the DuPage County Sheriff's Department's denial of her request for information, but with the death of her brother's wife, McNeil feels additional information vital to the case may be lost forever.

"I'm sad that she's dead because she's taken secrets with her that we'll never know," McNeil said.

"We got ripped off. That's how I feel," she said. "We got ripped off again. It's all unjust."

Judth Ann Hadaway May 12, 2011 at 02:25 PM
How did the wife die?
Dawn May 12, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Who took the stuff out of the wives apartment. There could have been clues there and should have been investigated.
Flora Dora May 12, 2011 at 06:58 PM
This is a very intersting turn of events. Keep investigating, Joe. Another book?
Susan Olsen May 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM
This is literally disgusting that the Dupage Police have not ever figured this out, and arrested the Ex-wife (now deceased) probably murdered, and the Business Partner. They have had nothing but blinders ON. I would bet they never new Suzanne was dead, because they were NOT doing anything on the Case. Susan Olsen (Mother of Missing Bradley Olsen 1/20/07)
josie alba November 29, 2011 at 08:35 AM
This is very upsetting, I'm sure the wife had something to do with his dissappearance. It' s a shame no deeper investigations were performed by the local police, shame on them!!! My heart & prayers go out to his friends & family & especially his girlfriend who appeared to love him deeply. I hope you get your answers soon.
Tony January 16, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I thought Patch ran an article about this case a few months ago and mentioned at that time about the wifes death.
Slick July 26, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I BELIEVE THE WIFE HAD HIM MURDERED, THEN SHE WAS MURDERED BY THE SAME PERSON OUT OF FEAR THAT SHE WOULD FINALLY TALK!
jane December 23, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Watching this case is alarming because of the gross negligence of the police department. Is it because they are involved or because they are protecting the person responsible? Maybe they are incompetent or lazy. Either way the police department needs to get in trouble. It seems so obvious that after the first banner to find the man was destroyed the second banner should've been watched to find out who did it and why and why was a third banner not put up and watched when the second banner was destroyed? DUH. WHAT IDIOTS RUN THE POLICE DEPT.?
marie onorato April 15, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Just watched investigative id, regarding the disappearance of john spira.....its got to be his now late wife (and an accomplace probably).........he disappeared on the very day of the divorce settlement? I don't believe in coincidences.......now that the wife is dead, I would investigate people who were close in her circle......she couldn't have done it herself.....marie
Joshua Deleo April 15, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Just watched Dissapeared. It was on John and it Creeped me out. That second banner should have been watched. Did no one in the area have a survalince camera? I'm sorry for your loss he seemed like a very nice man:) J.D.
Judy doherty May 24, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Why wasn't someone watching overnight when the second sign was wrecked?? John's sister is a lovely woman, I can see the pain in her eyes. It certainly seems as if the ex-wife could have been involved, how dreadful now that she has gone. Does she have any close associates or friends who might be willing to talk..?
Lynn McLay Mead Knott October 21, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Another case where the innocent suffer and the bad guys win. He seemed like a sweetheart of a guy! My thoughts, after watching the show, went directly to the ex-wife too. If she received any kind of insurance settlement after the fire, you couldn't have gotten any bigger of a 'red flag'.
Angie Kissel Weightman October 23, 2013 at 07:12 AM
Just watched this on ID. Follow the money trail? If the ex was involved, who got the money after she passed?
Lee Rayne January 24, 2014 at 01:42 PM
Wow! I cannot believe we viewers not trained in the law all think the same thing , WHY DIDNT THE INVESTIGATORS set up cameras on the second banner and WHY WASNT A THIRD ONE PLACED??? MY thoughts karma for the ex wife and whoever helped her is the law or knows somebody that can slow the investigation down. My prayers to john, his family and his girlfriend( who was turned down by the police for the most crucial time the first 48hrs) . One more thing why not use that liquid that shows blood at the business .kinda weird when banners where placed his place of business was set on fire. Perhaps the person grew more fearful since the family was not giving up with the banners he or she burned where john may have been hurt. Entire story has my stomach in a knot. Again prayers to all of u who lost john. LEE

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