FLINT (WWJ/AP) - A prosecutor says a man admited to burying the body of a homicide victim in Genesee County in 2005.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Haviland said Michael Hoy made the admission Tuesday in Flint federal court during his sentencing for an unrelated gun crime.
Haviland said Hoy admitted to helping a friend move the body of Katie Cook, saying he helped out because he was afraid the killer would turn on him.
Mount Morris Township police Chief Scott McKenna, who heads the investigation, said he’s a “little floored” by Hoy’s disclosure.
Cook was 23 when she was last seen in August 2005. She disappeared soon after moving into her boyfriend’s home on Haven Street near Saginaw Street, police said.
In the years after her disappearance, investigators continued to follow leads, but still couldn’t find Cook. A break in the case came in 2012, following the arrest of Hoy’s ex-con brother, Gerald Hoy, on drug and gun charges.
According to court records, Gerald Hoy told ATF agents that he obtained five fully automatic firearms from his brother, Michael Hoy. He also told agents that his brother admitted to him that he helped bury Cook’s body.
Gerald Hoy’s tip sent police to Bloss Farm, on Reid Road near Morris Road in Gaines Township, where they spent 15 days combing through countless acres of land, searching for any sign of Cook. On Aug. 7, nearly seven years after she went missing, police found Cook’s body, which was positively identified through dental records.
Investigators then began focusing on Michael Hoy, who reportedly signed a written agreement with prosecutors, promising to help convict the man who killed Cook.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the man Michael Hoy named as Cook’s killer has not been charged in her death, and is in custody on an unrelated assault with intent to murder charge in southern Missouri.
Michael Hoy was sentenced Tuesday to one year in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of illegally possessing an unregistered machine gun. Gerald Hoy is still awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms.
Michael Hoy has not been charged in Cook’s death.
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