Battle Creek man charged in death of woman found burned

A Battle Creek man has been charged in the March death of a woman who police believe was fatally shot in her home before her body was burned along a remote road.

Jose Juarez, 26, was arrested Thursday and charged with open murder, mutilation of a dead body and three other counts in the death of Alison Sargent, a 25-year-old from Pennfield Township.

The Battle Creek man was arraigned later Thursday at Calhoun County District Court. Court records show that he’s scheduled to appear for a preliminary exam on July 27, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported.

Sargent was reported missing March 5 and her burned body was found two days later along a remote section of a road.

Calhoun County Sheriff Steven Hinkley said detectives believe Sargent was shot and killed at her home, and her body was moved to that area and burned. He said Sargent’s car was found in Detroit by police on March 10, and its interior had reportedly been burned.

Hinkley said police believe Juarez and Sargent had been in a relationship. He said Juarez was identified as a suspect after police reviewed video surveillance that showed them leaving a grocery store the same day she was reported as missing.  (AP)

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