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A Michigan driver deliberately hit and killed a retired woman who was taking her daily walk so he could have sex with her body, authorities said.
The suspect, identified as Colby Martin, 29, of White Pigeon, Michigan, was arraigned in Van Buren District Court on Wednesday on a new murder charge, WMMT-TV of Grand Rapids reported.
Some media have named the victim, but Fox News is hiding his identity due to the nature of the allegations.
Martin had previously been charged in September with manslaughter and concealment of body, WMMT reported.
The driver hit the jogger while she was near Oak Shores Campground on Sept. 20, according to the report. He then moved the body to a wooded area where he allegedly performed the sex acts, authorities said, according to the station. Martin led investigators to the site the next day, according to the report.
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Authorities added the murder charge this month after reviewing DNA evidence and the suspect’s online search history, which included searches for pornography involving dead or unconscious women, WMMT reported.
Martin’s vehicle, a 2013 Ford F-150, sustained severe front end damage when investigators first encountered it at a Walmart store in Oshtemo Township the day after the crime, the report said.
The suspect was found to be in possession of the woman’s mobile phone and allegedly attempted to conceal other evidence related to the crime, according to the report.
Prior to the murder charge, Martin was released on $300,000 bond. Following the new charge, he was remanded into custody but was denied bail and was being held in Van Buren County Jail pending further legal action, the station reported.
The suspect was arrested several days ago at his girlfriend’s home in Big Rapids, WMMT reported.
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Martin’s attorney said he doesn’t believe the new murder charge is justified, according to the station.
“We are still awaiting reports and more evidence from the DA’s office. From a legal standpoint, I don’t think the increased charges are warranted,” attorney Jim Mequio said.
Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott said an investigation is continuing, with his department expecting to hear more information about the case, WMMT reported.