STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) –  A 20-year-old Madison Heights woman has been charged with murder after allegedly killing a man she met online.

Last Friday, 57-year-old Michael Freeland was found dead in his burned out home, in the 37000-block of Andrew Dr, near 16 Mile Road and Van Dyke in Sterling Heights.

An autopsy showed that Freeland died before the fire started; and evidence at the scene, prosecutors said, led investigators to believe he was murdered.

According to prosecutors, Bria Blackmon met Freeland on the classifieds website craigslist and began dating him. It’s alleged that she eventually tried to rob him, that’s what led to the murder, and the fire was set to try to cover it up.

Blackmon — who was identified through evidence found on the victim’s computer and cell phone — is charged with first degree murder, armed robbery and illegal use of a financial transaction device.

Bond was denied at an arraignment Tuesday.

“Sadly, the dangers affiliated in conducting business with a complete stranger through Craig’s List has resulted in another tragic loss of life,” said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, in a statement. “I commend the men and women of SHPD for their unwavering commitment in solving this homicide. My office will take every step necessary to bring justice to the family of Michael Freeland.”

Police are considering that others may have been involved in the murder or cover up as an investigation continues.

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