Police say it is a scheme that is based on collecting a $5 million life insurance policy. Lake County sheriff's investigators are calling 46-year-old Denise Squire a "person of interest" because police say she had e-mail conversations with Ari Squire, 39, after he was supposed to be dead. Denise Squire's lawyers say she is innocent.
Police say Air Squire faked his own death by killing 20-year-old Justin Newman and then assumed Newman's identity. As the hoax began to unravel, Squire shot himself in the head. It's a bizarre tale that Denise Squire's lawyers say she knew nothing about.
"She knew nothing about the plan. She knew nothing about the design or the Newman man who is deceased," said Elliot Pinsel, Denise Squire's attorney.
But Denise Squire's attorneys would not answer questions about e-mails police say Ari Squire and his wife exchanged after the Lake Barrington man was supposed to be dead. Police say there are at least four e-mails where Ari Squire asks his wife about his death arrangements.
"'When will my ashes be returned?'… 'What are you going to do with my ashes?' And the responses are, 'they're not releasing the body yet.' I mean, there's indications that, you know, tell us she's a personal witness," said Charles Fagan, Lake County Undersheriff.
Police say Denise Squire did call 911 on the morning of February 23, when she found her garage on fire. The charred remains of a man were found pinned underneath Ari Squire's pick-up truck. At the time, it was assumed the body was Squire's. Neighbors say Denise Squire seemed genuinely upset.
"She said, 'how could this happen?'" said neighbor Claudia Kavc.
Denise Squire's lawyers say she has fully cooperated with police and has nothing to hide. She even took a polygraph test, but it's a test that investigators say did not ask enough questions.
"She passed the lie detector, she passed the lie detector on questions concerning the homicide her involvement, her knowledge of anything," said Pinsel.
"There are no questions that even relate to the email," said the undersheriff.
Fagan says Denise Squire was only asked four questions on the polygraph test. Given the opportunity, investigators say, they would ask Squire many more questions. While Squire initially cooperated with police, she is no longer talking to them.
Police say the investigation is far from over. Experts are examining cell phone records, computers and other evidence taken from the Squires' home and the motel room where Ari Squire killed himself.