On September 12, 1996, with no activity on Janet's credit cards since her disappearance and no reported phone calls to her family or friends, the police declared that they were treating her case as a homicide. They searched the Marches' home, the surrounding grounds, Perry March's office, and an apartment he had recently rented in Nashville near Vanderbilt University. Investigators took several items from his home for further examination, including a stained shirt and bath mat, and over 20 computer disks. But when they examined his computer, they found that the hard drive was missing. They asked March where it was. He said he had not removed it and had no idea who might have done such a thing.
The police asked him to take a lie-detector test, but according to the Tennessean, he refused, saying that he was taking an anti-stress medication and feared that it might affect the results. They asked him if they could interview his 6-year-old son, but again he refused their request.
Investigators discovered that March had replaced the tires on his Jeep six days after his wife had disappeared. He explained that the tires had been bald, and it was one of the chores on his to-do list. But when the police questioned employees at the shop where March had purchased the new tires, they said that the original ones weren't worn out and they had pointed that out to March. Nevertheless he insisted on buying new ones.
The police located witnesses who said that they had seen a rolled-up Oriental rug in the March house near Janet's studio and Perry's study. When asked about the rug, Perry March said that the witnesses were mistaken, there was no rug. Police investigators searched for a rug but never found one.
In late September, a little over a month after his wife's disappearance, March suddenly announced that he would be moving with his two children to Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Lawrence and Carolyn Levine were understandably outraged and heartbroken when they learned that March wanted to take their grandchildren away. They vowed to use every legal means available to gain visitation rights with Sammy and Tzipora. The Levines initiated court action on the same day that March left for Chicago with the children. The Levines later learned that when March had packed up his office, he left behind a wedding photograph of Janet.