OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo-area man admitted to shooting his ex-girlfriend with a shotgun and took investigators to where he ditched the murder weapon, court documents say.

Tami Sui Nickles’ body was found Friday at Robert Nizzardini’s home on Autumns Way Boulevard near the intersection of W. KL Avenue in Oshtemo Township, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department said.

Nickles, 48, had been shot once with a shotgun, embedding about 180 pieces of birdshot in her body, a court record shows.

“It is clear from the investigation that Robert had the motive, means and opportunity to murder Tami Nickles,” the document says.

The document said her body was in the garage and the home was locked. Surveillance video showed Nizzardini and Nickles were the only people at the house around the time the murder happened, authorities say.

Hannah Miller lives a few doors down from Nizzardini. She never met him, but said she routinely passes by his house. She said it sits differently after what happened Friday.

“He kept an immaculate yard,” Miller said. “He was always out there. Actually, this week … there was a huge pile of mulch in the driveway. So, he was probably going to be tackling that this weekend. It’s just kind of eerie driving by and that huge pile of mulch is just still in the driveway.”

Nizzardini and Nickles had a “contentious” break-up, the court record says, and she said the day before she died that he was stalking her and she was afraid of him.

“It’s terrible that she couldn’t get out. I feel absolutely terrible for her and her family,” Miller said. “Apparently … she went back for the dogs.”

Court documents confirmed that while Nizzardini had been staying with a friend in the Baldwin area, he told investigators that he met Nickles at his house Friday to give her dogs back to her.

Charisse Mitchell of YWCA West Michigan Advocates explains that such behaviors in domestic violence situations happen in patterns over time and that individuals can use valued people and possessions as leverage.

“Abusive partners, as an attempt to gain control, use things like children, pets, possessions, residence, access to income … Anything that can gain control (to) bring a person back to their presence under their control is often a tool,” Mitchell said. “So, we don’t take those incidents lightly.”

Nizzardini admitted on Saturday that he shot Nickles, the court document says. He took detectives to a swamp near Baldwin where he said he left the shotgun.

“Why would you do that to somebody that you loved?” Miller said.

He was charged with open murder, felony firearm and domestic assault. He was taken to the Kalamazoo County Jail and bond was denied. His next court proceeding is scheduled for May 18.

Court documents from 2003 show Nizzardini pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen money in a fraud case. According to an indictment, he cashed 22 checks stolen from HealthCare Midwest between November 2000 and December 2001.

The checks totaled more than $170,000. He was sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison and supervised release for three years and ordered to pay HealthCare Midwest around $1 million in restitution.