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A Michigan driver deliberately struck and killed a retired woman who was out on her daily walk so he could have sex with her body, authorities have alleged, according to reports.
The suspect, identified as Colby Martin, 29, of White Pigeon, Michigan, was arraigned Wednesday in Van Buren District Court on a newly filed murder charge, WMMT-TV of Grand Rapids reported.
Some media reports have named the victim, but Fox News is withholding her identity because of the nature of the allegations.
Martin was previously charged in September with manslaughter and concealing a body, WMMT reported.
The driver struck the jogger as she was near the Oak Shores Campground on Sept. 20, the report said. He then moved the body to a wooded area where he allegedly committed the sex acts, authorities said, according to the station. Martin led investigators to the site the next day, the report said.
Authorities added the murder charge this month after examining DNA evidence and the suspect’s online search history, which included searches for pornography involving dead or unconscious women, WMMT reported.
Colby Martin seen in a Feb. 15, 2022, booking photo.
(Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office via WMMT-TV)
Martin’s vehicle, a 2013 Ford F-150, had severe front-end damage when investigators first encountered him at a Walmart store in Oshtemo Township the day after the crime, the report said.
The suspect was found to have the woman’s cell phone, and he allegedly made attempts to conceal other evidence linked to the crime, according to the report.
Prior to the murder charge, Martin was freed on a $300,000 bond. Following the new charge, he was returned to custody but denied bond and was being held in the 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.
Martin’s lawyer said he didn’t believe the new murder charge was justified, according to the station.
“We’re still waiting for reports and more evidence from the prosecutor’s office. From a legal standpoint, I’m not seeing the increase in charges will be justified,” attorney Jim Mequio said.
Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbott said an investigation was continuing, with his department expecting to obtain more information about the case, WMMT reported.
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