(DETROIT) — A Michigan man has told police that he had a direct role in the murder of suburban Detroit marketing executive Jane Bashara, who was found strangled in the back of her car last week, and that her husband, Bob Bashara, was involved in the murder.
Joe Gentz walked into the Grosse Pointe Park police station on Tuesday and made both claims, police sources told local ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV. However, Gentz’s story was at times shifting and inconsistent, the same sources confirmed. He has not been criminally charged, The Detroit Free Press reported.
The potentially major break in the case came on the very same day that Jane Bashara was laid to rest. Bob Bashara, who has been under a cloud of suspicion since he was named a “person of interest” by police and reportedly failed a polygraph test, was in attendance at the service.
A tow truck driver found Jane Bashara’s body last Wednesday inside her car, which was parked in an alley on the east side of Detroit, roughly eight miles away from her home in the upscale suburb of Grosse Pointe, Mich. The marketing executive and mother of two was last seen Tuesday after a meeting at Detroit Edison’s downtown headquarters, her co-workers said.
Prominent criminal defense attorney David Griem, who is representing the Bashara family, spoke in front of the family home Tuesday, saying that Gentz was known by the victim’s husband.
“Bob Bashara gave the name of this individual to the police several days ago when they asked him for a list of people who might want to do harm to either him or his family. That name was on the list,” Griem said.
Sources tell ABC News that Gentz told police he turned himself in because he was afraid that the blame for the 56-year-old woman’s murder would fall entirely on him.
In the hours after Jane Bashara was found strangled in her SUV, her 54-year-old husband claimed to be distraught.
“It’s unthinkable that this happened to her and what she had to suffer,” Bob Bashara said. “I’m doing what I need to do to cooperate with the authorities to find who did this to my wife.”
But over the week since his wife’s body was discovered, more questions about Bob Bashara have arisen.
Bashara reportedly told police that he talked to his wife on the phone on the night that she disappeared, but cellphone records indicate that no phone calls between the two actually took place.
It has also been learned that Bob Bashara may have had a girlfriend on the side. Police sources say they questioned a 50-year-old woman who worked at Wayne State University who said she dated him. Local ABC reporters uncovered real estate documents which indicate Bashara may have been buying the woman a home.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dylan Byers, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Z. Byron Wolf, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg and Kwegyirba Croffie, CNN