Grosse Pointe Murder: Man Claims to Be Husband's Accomplice

PHOTO: The body of the Jane Bashara, 56, was found, Jan. 25, 2012, in a Detroit alley.PlayFamily Photo via Detroit Free Press/AP
WATCH Exec Slaying: Alleged Accomplice Comes Forward

A Michigan man has told police that he had a direct role in the murder of a suburban Detroit marketing executive, Jane Bashara, who was found strangled in the back of her car last week, and that the her husband was involved in her murder.

Joe Gentz, 48, walked into the Grosse Pointe Park police station Tuesday and admitted to a direct role in the murder of Bashara, 56, police sources told ABC News Detroit affiliate WXYZ, and claimed that the woman's husband Bob Bashara, 54, had a hand in her death.

However, Gentz's story was, at times, shifting and inconsistent, the same sources said.

He has not been criminally charged, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Bashara's husband, Bob Bashara, who has been named a person of interest in the case, emerged from his home with his son and mother today and gave a short statement to reporters.

"We wish to thank the hundreds and hundreds of supporters and people who have shown their love and respect for my Jane," he said. "This is an unconceivable tragedy, and everyone needs to know how absolutely wonderful and how much this has meant. They'll never know how wonderful this has been for us, too.

Bashara said the family has cooperated with law enforcement and would continue to do. He refused to answer reporters' questions about Gentz's claims.

"Both our families grieve and, in the light of this horrific event, ask for you continued prayers, ask for your support and respect of our privacy as we deal with this heartbreak and try to cope," Bashara said.

Gentz' claims came on the very same day that Jane Bashara was eulogized and laid to rest. Bob Bashara 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 the family 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, said in front of the family home Tuesday 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.

Gentz told police he turned himself in because he was afraid that the blame for the woman's murder would fall entirely on him, sources told ABC News.

Gentz lived in an apartment in the St. Clair Shores suburb of Detroit for several months, which WXYZ reported may have been rented by Bob Bashara. Gentz's neighbors in the apartment complex said that they found Gentz to be intimidating.

"Well I'm so glad that he is where he is, that he turned himself in, because I was so scared," Debbie McWherter, one of the man's neighbors, told ABC News.

Police sources told WXYZ that Bashara was murdered in her home, not in her car. When police found her she was wearing her house slippers and had broken fingernails, which could be sign that she fought for her life.

Bashara's purse and its contents were strewn about on her Mercedes' passenger side floor, the keys to the car were on the driver's side floor and there was "a prescription bottle" on the passenger seat, investigators said, according to WXYZ.

In the hours after she was found strangled in her SUV, her 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 the night that she disappeared, but cell phone records indicate that no phone calls between the two actually took place.

In addition, Bob Bashara may have had a girlfriend on the side. Police sources said they questioned a 50-year-old woman who worked at Wayne State University who said she dated him. Local ABC News reporters uncovered real estate documents that indicated Bashara may have been buying the woman a home.