Authorities discover murder victim’s vehicle in cornfield


NILES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The search is over for the vehicle of a woman murdered in her Niles Township home.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office says the 2008 Mazda CX-9 owned by Carla Jean Lewis was discovered in a cornfield off Yankee Street in Cass County. Authorities have impounded the vehicle and are now combing it for possible evidence in connection to the death of the 55-year-old woman, who was shot five times.

Her husband, 49-year-old John Benton Lewis, is charged with first-degree murder in the case. Authorities say John Lewis was the one who called them about the shooting, but he told detectives that home invasion suspects were responsible.

Days later, authorities said forensic evidence at the scene, an autopsy on Carla Lewis and witness interviews led them back to John Lewis.

However, Undersheriff Chuck Heit said Friday detectives have not ruled out that other suspects may be involved in the case, and the investigation is ongoing.

John Lewis was first charged with felony manufacturing of marijuana, which the sheriff’s office said it uncovered while investigating Carla Lewis’ murder.

A judge Wednesday set John Lewis’ bond at $1 million with GPS monitoring. His next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 23.

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