A badly burnt body that turned up in a backwoods gully in Michigan has been positively identified as a young mother of two who went missing late last week.
The body of Alison Sargent, 25, was recovered from a deserted ravine in Calhoun County, authorities confirmed in a news release.
Emmett Township police officers made the grisly discovery at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. Scorched leaves were still present at the scene the following day, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported. The Michigan woman had been missing since last Thursday.
A cause of death hasn’t yet been released but police suspect homicide, MLive.com reported. No arrests have been made in the aftermath of the discovery.
It’s unclear how Sargent wound up in the ravine, which is located southeast of Battle Creek and about a mile northwest of the interstate road, according to WWJ Newsradio.
Sargent was spotted by surveillance footage leaving a store at 2191 Columbia Avenue in Battle Creek shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday morning, law enforcement said. She was later reported missing to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office that day at around 6 p.m. by her boyfriend, MLive.com reported.
Authorities haven’t yet recovered the woman’s car. Police said the vehicle in question is black 2012 Dodge Journey with Michigan tags JQ18V. Sargent’s vehicle has a pink license plate frame and four stickers on the rear window.
Michigan State Police and a number of other law enforcement agencies are assisting local authorities on the investigation.
A $5,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in Sargent’s death.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department declined Oxygen.com’s request for comment on Thursday, citing the case’s ongoing nature. The Emmett Township Department of Public Safety also didn’t respond for comment regarding the investigation.
Sargent’s friends and family are baffled as to what could have happened to the 25-year-old mother.
"I have known Alison for quite a long time," Jeff Kill, 50, told the Battle Creek Enquirer on Monday. "We have been close for quite some time. It really hit close to home."
The man said Sargent had two young daughters and was a “fun-loving” and a dedicated mother,
“She was always posting about them [on social media],” he added.
Kill, who is a friend of the woman’s parents, organized a GoFundMe for the family. The fundraiser has since raised more than $6,000.
"I was just with her dad and told him I would start a GoFundMe,” he explained. “It’s just a sad thing."
Sargent’s funeral will be held on March 16 at the First Baptist Church in Bellevue, Michigan, according to the website.
“Most people don’t plan on burying [their] kids, it’s something you are never prepared for” the man also wrote on the fundraising platform.
Authorities are urging anyone with information related to Sargent’s death to contact Calhoun County Central Dispatch at 269-781-0911 or Silent Observer at 269-964-3888.
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