Battle Creek Man Charged With Murder, Mutilation Of Missing Woman Found Burned

WWJ News
June 19, 2020 - 11:08 am
Jose Juarez and Alison Sargent

Jose Juarez, left and Alison Sargent. (Photos: MDOC, Handout)

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(WWJ/AP) A 26-year-old man has been charged in the March death of a Michigan woman who police believe was fatally shot in her home before her body was burned along a remote road.

Jose Juarez of Battle Creek was arrested Thursday and charged with open murder, mutilation of a dead body, and firearms chagres in the death 25-year-old Alison Sargent.

According to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, the Pennfield Township woman was last seen alive the afternoon of March 5, as she was leaving a Meijer store on Columbia Ave. in Battle Creek. 

She was reported missing by her boyfriend that evening, setting off a search. Her charred remains were found two days later down a small ravine off River Road in Emmett Township, a mile northwest of I-94, southeast of Battle Creek. Sargent’s car was later found burned in Detroit, police said. 

The Western Michigan University Department of Pathology helped police to make a positive identification

Sargent, originally from the Bellevue area, was the mother of two young daughters, one 8-years-old and the other still an infant.

"Alison was a loving daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, cousin, friend, but above all an amazing mother to her daughters, Sophie and Hadi," her obituary reads. "Alison loved spending time with her family and friends. Alison had a special love for animals, especially cats. Alison enjoyed helping others and was always there whenever someone needed her. Alison was known for singing 'You Are My Sunshine' to her girls while putting them to sleep. Alison was accepting and nonjudgmental to everyone. Alison was a free spirit, with an attitude, who will be greatly missed."

The Kalamazoo Gazette reported that police believe Juarez and Sargent were in a relationship.

Juarez was arraigned Thursday at Calhoun County District Court and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary exam on July 27. 

Michigan Department of Corrections records show he is a convicted felon, with priors including larceny in a building an a concealed carry violation.