TRAVERSE CITY (AP) – Police confirmed Wednesday that a body they recovered from a sand pile at a public works site is that of a 16-year-old girl who went missing in early June.
Traverse City police Capt. Brian Heffner told The Associated Press that Carly Lewis’ body would undergo an autopsy on Thursday at a Grand Rapids hospital.
Her body was found Tuesday evening outside a public works building after police say a 17-year-old boy told investigators he killed her.
The teen was jailed on a preliminary charge of suspicion of murder, and Heffner said he may be arraigned later Wednesday, which would have been Lewis’ 17th birthday. He said the teens knew each other.
Police said they would not identify the teen until after he’s arraigned. They said he agreed to a polygraph examination at a Michigan State Police facility in Grayling and later told officers he killed Lewis.
The teen’s attorney, Clarence Gomery, did not immediately respond to a phone message Wednesday seeking comment.
Lewis disappeared June 2 after leaving a friend’s home, and police considered her an endangered missing person. Her disappearance sparked a search of Traverse City and nearby communities in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.
Heffner said investigators believe Lewis died the evening she disappeared, and that no one else was involved. He told the Traverse City Record-Eagle on Wednesday that investigators believe the 17-year-old boy killed her in a small, vacant metal building, and that he moved her body to the sand pile two days later.
Heffner said it’s the second killing in Traverse City this year.
Family and friends embraced her mother, Susie Lewis, Tuesday evening outside her home. She said she took some relief from the knowledge that her daughter likely died the same night she disappeared.
“This is the only good thing that she didn’t suffer for all these days,” Susie Lewis said.
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