Police: Man tried to burn girlfriend’s body in van

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida man was charged with murder after his girlfriend’s body was found inside a burning vehicle.

According to an arrest report, Sarasota deputies responded to a vehicle fire off I-75 in Osprey on October 15.

The victim, 34-year-old Kristen Kelley was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, 34-year-old Michael Clark told deputies he didn’t know how she died, how the fire began or how he got to Sarasota.

Investigators believe the fire was set intentionally after a gas can was found inside the van and a lighter was found nearby. Police also seized Clark’s clothing for investigation and recovered a small amount of cocaine.

A medical report showed Kelley died from blunt force trauma. Detectives believe Clark beat her to death, drove the body down to Sarasota and set the van on fire.

Clark was transported to the hospital and later released before he was brought up on charges.

He was arrested at his home on Thursday and charged with murder, arson, tampering with evidence and cocaine possession.

He’s being held without bond at the Orient Road Jail in Tampa.

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