A Silicon Valley man was charged with killing his neighbor and burying her in his backyard, police said.
The Milpitas Police in California responded to a "welfare check" on Jan. 31 after the caller said they had not heard from a 59-year-old woman for several days.
Officers checked the victim's home but did not locate her or anything suspicious at the house, but they started a missing person case, according to Milpitas police. They met with the victim's family and searched the area.
Investigators reportedly located evidence near the victim's home, which led them to believe "a crime of violence occurred involving the victim" on Feb. 1, according to Milpitas police.
Neighbors later told officers they heard a female screaming in the area early in the morning, police said.
Micah James Dovlet, 34, who lived near the victim, was detained during the investigation. After obtaining a search warrant for the victim’s home and Dovlet’s home, authorities gathered more evidence but were unable to find the victim.
On Feb. 2, Detectives developed information regarding the location of the victim. The next day, they searched the home.
The victim's body was found buried in the backyard.
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“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family. To ensure the privacy of the victim’s family, the Milpitas Police Department will not be releasing the victim’s name," officials said in a statement.
The Sacramento Bee identified the victim as Tuyet Anh Phan.
Phan and Dovlet were not in a dating relationship, Milpitas Police Lt. Tyler Jamison told the San Jose Mercury News. A complaint said the victim was “particularly vulnerable,” and the way the killing was carried out “indicates planning, sophistication or professionalism.”
But, investigators have not released a possible motive.
Dovlet was later booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for homicide. He was held without bail.
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