The 69-year-old Macomb Township woman who was brutally stabbed Feb. 23 in her home died on Tuesday, and the man charged in her attack is now expected to face a felony murder charge in addition to a pending charge of felony home invasion.
William Cataldo, Macomb County chief of homicide and prosecutor on the case, said he believes Joann Eisenhardt's death was a direct result of the injuries suffered in the February attack.
"She has been in the hospital and hospice for the most part continuously since her injury," Cataldo said.
He added that Macomb County Medical Examiner Daniel Spitz has been asked to perform an autopsy to confirm whether the initial injuries Eisenhardt suffered ultimately caused her death.
The medical examiner's conclusion is expected to be pronounced in the next seven to 14 days, Cataldo said.
Once confirmation is received, the charge against suspect Joseph T. Reiner, 27, will be upgraded to felony murder, Cataldo said. Reiner is currently being held in the Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven and is facing a charge of felony home invasion in 41A District Court.
At the present, the case against Reiner remains in district court.
The prosecution alleges that it was Reiner who , stabbing her twice in the neck with two steak knives before stealing two pieces of jewelry and fleeing the scene.
who identified Reiner in court as the man he drove from the area of Eisenhardt's home at Fairchild and 22 Mile Road to 15 Mile and Gratiot on Feb. 23.
The second eyewitness, Hadrian Lewandowski, who owned the Eastpointe pawnshop to which Reiner is alleged to have taken Eisenhardt's jewelry, passed away May 26. The court is still deciding whether the testimony he gave to police will be allowed as evidence in the case.
Cataldo said he would wait to increase the charges against Reiner until his next hearing date, which will be scheduled for early October. Reiner's preliminary exam in district court will continue until all the prosecution's evidence is in.
The prosecution is still waiting on DNA evidence collected from Reiner upon his arrest. This evidence includes a spot of blood on the collar of the shirt he was wearing at the time of his arrest, as well as blood collected in the crevices of the boots he was wearing.
Cataldo said the location of these bloodstains is consistent with police reports describing Eisenhardt's condition at the scene.
"He would walk by and kick her every so often as he walked around the bloody crime scene," Cataldo said.
Pending Cases Against Reiner
Reiner is also a suspect in , which took place Feb. 24 and 25 and involved the theft of a 1999 Acura, which Reiner was driving at the time of his arrest.
Reiner’s alleged three-day crime spree came to an end on Feb. 26 when he was arrested by the New York state police on the Tappan Zee Bridge in Orangetown, NY, after an almost 100-mile car chase that started in Roxbury, NJ.
Previous coverage of this case:
March 2 –