GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids police are seeking a DNA sample from -- and the extradition of -- a California inmate who they say may be connected to an August homicide.
The DNA of Demarco Marquis Carnegie was found on and inside of the body of 47-year-old Marie Jean Nettles, a search warrant affidavit out of Kern County, Calif. obtained by Bakersfield NBC affiliate KGET shows.
Nettles's body was found along the Plaster Creek Trail behind Ken-O-Sha Elementary in Grand Rapids on the morning of Aug. 8. The affidavit said the Kent County medical examiner found that Nettles had been strangled to death.
Her body was naked when it was found, the affidavit said, and had to be identified via fingerprints and tattoos.
Nettles had sustained trauma to her mouth. She also had scratches on her backside, calves and heels, which indicated she may have been dragged. GRPD found drag marks in the dirt and black top near where her body was found. An initial press release stated it did not appear she was killed where her body was found.
On Sept. 30, a hit off the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) indicated that DNA collected from Nettles' body was that of 28-year-old Carnegie.
GRPD is now requesting a fresh DNA sample from Carnegie.
Carnegie is serving 11 years in prison for robbing a couple in California on August 27. Carnegie pleaded no contest to threatening a married couple with a hammer and robbing them at a Days Inn motel in Lost Hills, Calif. northwest of Bakersfield.
GRPD has also filed to extradite Carnegie back to Michigan for the Aug. 8 robbery of a Kalamazoo Avenue SE gas station, Lt. Pat Merrill confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday evening.
The robbery happened at just after 1 p.m. the day Nettles' body was discovered at a Kalamazoo Avenue SE Admiral gas station north of 44th Street. In that instance, court documents said a man who looked like Carnegie walked into the gas station and handed the clerk a note saying "your job is not worth your life." An employee told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday that the man said he had a knife and was not wearing any sort of mask.
The GRPD detective investigating that robbery noticed the suspect seen on surveillance images of the Admiral robbery looked similar to the suspect in a separate Aug. 3 robbery.
In the Aug. 3 robbery, the suspect had been seen driving off in a red hatchback and a partial license plate number had been recorded. The detective managed to track down the owner of the hatchback -- a 2008 Hyundai Accent. She said she had given the car to Carnegie, who she has known for several years.
Carnegie was still driving the Accent when he robbed the couple in Lost Hills, according to the affidavit. When he was pulled over and arrested after the robbery, Kern County sheriff's deputies found the note he had used to rob the Kalamazoo Avenue SE gas station.
Additionally, the affidavit says, an automated Grand Rapids Police Department license plate reader took a photo of the Accent as it was driving along 28th Street SE near Madison Avenue at 11:56 p.m. Aug. 7. An area near there is known for prostitution, the affidavit says.
Nettles was known to have a history of prostitution, which is believed to have played a role in her death, Lt. Merrill said. Though she had been clean for a couple of years before she "backslid hard and fast," Merrill said.
Nettles was killed within six weeks of returning to prostitution.
Carnegie was released from prison and put on parole less than two months before the robberies, and Nettles' death.
Lt. Merrill said Carnegie was not in Nettles's close circle of friends
Carnegie is currently being held at the Kern County Jail pending transfer to a California state prison. It's not yet known how long it will take to extradite him back to Kent County to face the robbery charge.
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The rink will be open that day from 3-9 p.m.