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Infamous case may have local link
Apr 30, 2004 12:00 am
Authorities are seeking a link between a Mt. Juliet building and the infamous case of long-missing Nashvillian Janet March, though Metro police yesterday remained noncommittal about the effort.
Mt. Juliet Police Chief Kenneth Martin confirmed yesterday that officers retrieved "a substance" from a building once used by the missing woman's husband, who has widely been considered a suspect in her disappearance.
Though he would not identify what was found, Martin said it has been sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab for testing.
Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said while there seems to be no link between the celebrated case and the discovery "at this moment," he indicated investigators are still interested in the outcome of the testing.
"As far as we're concerned there doesn't appear to be any connection to Janet March at this moment," he said. "Of course that could change later because we're always interested in and seeking new information in this case."
Of the building, Aaron said it was used by the missing woman's husband, attorney Perry March, "for an office at some point years ago."
The building now houses Stallings Real Estate and is owned by Lebanon attorney Jim Stallings. Though he could not be reached a spokesperson for the attorney, Becky Vance, returned a reporter's call and said she was instructed to say only that the attorney has owned the property "since June of last year" even though no message was left regarding the property or the nature of the phone call.
"We have no further comment at this time," she said, refusing to respond when asked why she explained the ownership of the property without being asked.
Martin said Mt. Juliet police were contacted by an employee of the building and in turn contacted Metro investigators probing March's highly publicized disappearance.
Mt. Juliet officers then conducted a "visual inspection" of the building's "attic area," according to Martin.
"We didn't really find much, but we did find a substance and it's been sent to the crime lab," the police chief said.
Aaron confirmed that Metro investigators were told of the discovery of the substance.
"It's my understanding something was found somewhere in or around the building. I'm not sure what it is, but I do know our cold case detectives have been told it's been sent off for tests," Aaron said.
He said investigators' "knowledge of his (Perry March's) prior connections" to the building is the only reason they are interested in learning the lab results.
"We do not believe at this time there's any connection, but that's why I'm saying 'at this time' because obviously things could change," Aaron said.
The brown-eyed, brown-haired housewife disappeared in August 1996, with her husband reportedly the last person to see her alive. Her car was found at a Nashville apartment complex about a month after she vanished and rewards of up to $60,000 are available through both Metro police and her family, who fought Perry March in a heated custody battle over the couple's children. Janet March's family has also publicly accused her husband of involvement in her disappearance.
March reportedly now lives in Mexico.