KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Donnovan Lewis is in the Kalamazoo County Jail awaiting his day in court.
He is charged with the murder of his 24-year-old girlfriend Aniya Mack, who police say he killed on June 24 and then led authorities to her body nearly four days later.
On June 29, a Kalamazoo detective told District Court Judge Richard Santori that a man approached police the day before as they drove near where Mack lived in the 4000 block of West Michigan Avenue.
The detective said they were investigating the disappearance of Mack, whose family had not seen her since June 24.
“While conducting the investigation, Mack’s boyfriend — Donnovan Terrell Lewis — approached uniformed officers and stated that he had killed his girlfriend on Sunday night,” the unidentified detective said on a video recording of the hearing obtained by 24 Hour News 8.
Police say he told them it happened at her apartment after they were arguing.
“He struck her in the face during an argument and knocked her unconscious, he then went into the kitchen, got a large knife, returned to the bedroom and slit her throat,” the detective said.
The detective said he also admitted to stabbing her in the throat before she died.
“He then put a garbage bag over her head and put her into a suitcase,” she said.
He said he then put her into a dumpster in the apartment complex where he left the body until just before dawn, when he removed the body from the dumpster and placed it in a van belonging to his mother, police say.
“He said that he then drove her out of town aand eventually threw the suitcase containing Mack into Comstock Creek off of East Main Street,” the detective told the judge.
He allegedly walked the buoyant suitcase downstream before submerging the suitcase and covering it with mud, according to the detective.
He would lead police to the body on June 28, where it had been for nearly four days.
Police searched the apartment and say they found blood and other evidence that was consistent with what Lewis told them.
Lewis remains in jail without bond charged with open murder and faces life in prison if convicted. He is due back in court Aug. 2.
Police have not confirmed a motive, but there are indications that Lewis was jealous and believed Mack was involved with someone else.
Eileen McKeever, program director of YWCA domestic violence crisis services, says the pattern seen here is all too common.
“It’s that whole, ‘If you’re not gonna be with me, you’re not going to be with anyone,” McKeever said.
According to national studies, 72 percent of all murders involve an intimate partner and 94 percent of those victims are women.
“That ends up in lethality and ends up in death, then there usually are some other warning signs that can take place,” McKeever said.
McKeever says that friends and loved ones of those who are in danger can help.
“Believe them, support them, let them know that they are not alone,” she said.
The YWCA has a 24-hour help line available that can provide services to those in domestic abuse situations at 616.454.9922 or on its website.
***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the organization as YMCA and listed the incorrect phone number. We regret this error, which has since been corrected.***