Battle Creek-area man sentenced in murder of mother of two

Calhoun County

A March 8, 2020, booking photo of Jose Juarez from the Calhoun County Jail.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A Battle Creek-area man was sentenced to decades behind bars for the death of a missing mother whose body had been burned.

On Monday, Jose Juarez, of Bedford Township, was sentenced to a maximum of 60 years in prison for the death of 25-year-old Alison Sargent. He pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder charge on Sept. 20. The other charges were dismissed.

An undated photo of Alison Sargent, courtesy Brown Funeral Home.

On March 5, 2020, Sargent’s fiancé reported her missing from her home in the 9000 block of Huntington Road, east of M-66 in Pennfield Township. Detectives searched the area for several hours and tried to ping her cellphone but couldn’t find her.

Two days later, a passerby spotted a burned body in a rural area of East River Road between G Drive N and Raymond Road in Emmett Township and called police. Investigators later determined the body belonged to Sargent.

Based on the evidence, detectives believe Juarez shot and killed Sargent inside a home on Timber Lane in Bedford Township before dumping and burning her body in Emmett Township.

Detectives believe Juarez and Sargent were dating, but a possible motive in the case is unclear.

Sargent left behind two daughters as well as brothers, her parents, fiancé and other relatives, according to her online obituary at Brown Funeral Home.

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