Mutilation charge after partial remains found

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man will be formally charged Wednesday in connection to the discovery of a woman’s remains in Grand Rapids over the weekend.

Jared James Chance, 29, faces charges of mutilation of a dead body and concealing the death of an individual, according to the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Police said Tuesday they still haven’t been able to identify the victim because they found only partial remains. On Monday, a source with knowledge of the investigation told 24 Hour News 8 the body had been dismembered.

“We’re not going to comment on the condition of the body, the remains we have, at this time because that’s a very case-sensitive piece of information that we don’t want out in the public,” Sgt. Dan Adams said Tuesday afternoon.

He said the Michigan State Police Crime Lab was testing DNA, but he didn’t know when the results would be back.

“It’s a very sensitive investigation. We ask for the public’s patience and support,” Adams added.

He said investigators “wouldn’t want to presume anything” about whether there are more victims.

“The investigators will follow all the evidence as it’s presented to them and follow them where it leads,” he said.

The remains were found around 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the basement of a home at Franklin Street and Dolbee Avenue SE. GRPD said officers were called there on a report of a “suspicious condition where foul play was believed to be involved.” When they got there, they confirmed there was a potential crime scene.

Officers waited hours for a search warrant so they could sweep the house, which contains apartments. When they got it, they found Chance in the upstairs apartment. They took him, barefoot, into police custody, where he has stayed since then.

The mutilation charge is a 10-year felony and the concealing death charge a 5-year felony. But since Chance is being charged as a fourth-time habitual offender, he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

According to online Michigan State Police records, he has a criminal history dating back to 2006 that includes instances of resisting or obstructing a police officer and drunken driving. He recently served prison time for felony drug possession and was released in May 2017.

Detectives and forensics teams were back at the house on Franklin Tuesday. Witnesses told 24 Hour News 8 they saw police taking away a tarp- or plastic-covered dumpster from just down the street.

Anyone with information about the death is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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