Man charged with killing ex-girlfriend, setting her on fire
A Hillsborough County man has been charged with murder after Sarasota County detectives connected him with the suspicious death of his girlfriend in Sarasota last month.
According to a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office release,
The investigation began October 15 when deputies were called to a vehicle fire along I-75 in Osprey.
When deputies arrived, they found a 2012 Chrysler Town & Country minivan with a dead woman inside. She was identified as Kristen Kelley, 34. The driver, 34-year-old Michael Clark, told deputies he didn’t know how the fire began, how Kelley died or how he got to Sarasota.
State investigators with the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations determined the vehicle was intentionally set on fire.
The Medical Examiner’s Office determined the victim’s cause of death was homicide caused by blunt force trauma.
Sheriff’s Office Detectives say Clark beat the victim to death before placing her in the back of the van, driving southbound along I-75, and eventually setting the vehicle on fire.
He was transported to the hospital and later released while the
Clark has been charged with murder, arson, tampering with evidence, and possession of a controlled substance.
He is being held on an out-of-county warrant in Hillsborough County.
Clark was arrested Sept. 30 in Hillsborough County and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without an intent to kill after he allegedly held a pocket knife to a victim’s throat.
According to the report, Clark and the victim have three children together and been involved in an on-and-off relationship for 18 years.
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