Special Report: Looking for Lisa Part 1

It’s been nearly five years since an Alpena County woman disappeared. Detectives are now re-evaluating her case as a murder.

The last time anyone saw or heard from Lisa Marie Knight was June 8, 2012.

She was reported missing 4 days later.

Michigan State Police have been working on this case ever since, but now have changed their focus to homicide.

In Part One of Looking for Lisa, 9&10’s Katie Boomgaard sat down with friends, family and the detective about the night she disappeared.

“I don’t know what happened to her. I have my thoughts and my feelings but the only ones that really know are our Father God in heaven and the people that were involved,” says Jean Knight, Lisa’s mother.

This June will mark 5 years since Lisa Knight was last heard from or seen by anyone. “I just want to know. I want that closure for my grandchildren, these kids don’t need to have this unknowing part of their life,” says Jean.

Lisa’s family and friends say she was a loving mother to 4 kids but suffered with abuse and addiction and placed her kids in secure homes. Lisa’s mom, Jean says, “Lisa had her problems, she was an addict, she would be the first to admit that but on her good days she was Lisa. She could draw like no other. She had been accepted into an arts school at 16. Unfortunately at that time, the wild side just kind of comes out of you, so she never went. But she was a wonderful mother and a wonderful person.”

Laurel Schultz opened her home to Lisa. She watched her struggle with meth, drinking and relationships. And even received a call from Lisa the night she disappeared. “About 10:30 she called me and she says, she asked me if I could come get her. She was crying, she was not happy,” says Laurel Schultz.

Lisa had two kids with her ex-husband Lloyd Frey. The night she disappeared, Lloyd picked up Lisa and had plans to visit their youngest daughter together but ended up at his house in Ossineke. Laurel says she could hear fear in her friend’s voice. “I says what’s going on and she couldn’t talk, he must have been on the other phone or something. She was really having a rough night,” says Laurel.

That was the last time Laurel heard from Lisa. “I didn’t go get her. The next morning I called him [Lloyd Frey] and I says so where’s Lisa. She’s not here. I says well did you kill her, he says what are you talking about. That’s just…I’m very forward and he says well no. I says well then where is she, what’s going on. Well she left before I got up. I says that’s really weird Lloyd, he says no it’s not, she’s done it before,” recalls Laurel.

Lisa’s mother says she had bouts of hiding out for days at a time. “When she disappeared from this person, she always called me. She always said I’m hiding, this is where I’m at, this is where you can get a hold of me. So I knew when she disappeared, she hadn’t called me, that something was wrong” says Jean.

After 4 days Laurel finally called police. I asked Laurel why four days, “Because Lisa did disappear occasionally, she never did from my house but I know that she did from other places,” Laurel answered.

So Michigan State Police Alpena Post detectives stepped in. “We were somewhat behind the 8 ball to begin with in this case,” says Detective Sergeant Stephen Harshberger.

A search ensued around Lloyd Frey’s property where Lisa was last seen. “There were a number of things going on in Ms. Knight’s life at that time. She was in an on again off again relationship with her ex-husband. She was also dating other individuals, as we understand it. And because of her lifestyle and things that she was involved in, we initially began investigating this as a potential homicide case. With the amount of time that has now gone by without anyone seeing or hearing from her, we’re even more believing that it was likely a homicide,” says Detective Harshberger.

Tomorrow in Part Two, family and friends share their suspicions and what detectives are digging up in this case right now.

A $1,000 reward is being offered by the local Crime Stoppers Program. If you have any information on Lisa’s disappearance you’re asked to call Michigan State Police Alpena Post at 989-354-4101.