Man charged with mutilating body of Livingston County woman

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 47-year-old Detroit man has been charged with crimes that include mutilating the body of a Livingston County woman who was reported missing in November.

Kayla Pierce

Dowan Knighton was arrested Thursday at a Detroit home with the body of 29-year-old Handy Township resident Kayla Pierce, who was reported missing by her mother on Nov. 24, according to a Wayne County Prosecutor's Office press release.

"As a result of an investigation conducted by the Detroit Police Department assisted by the Michigan State Police and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, on Feb. 11, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. the lifeless remains of Ms. Pierce were found in the rear of a location in Detroit," the release said. "Knighton was placed under arrest at the scene."

Knighton was charged Saturday with mutilation of a dead body, concealing the death of an individual and tampering with evidence. Pierce, whose 2013 Chrysler 200 was found abandoned in Detroit shortly after her disappearance, had last been seen in a Howell Speedway gas station.

Dowan Knighton

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The crime of mutilating a dead body carries up to a 10-year prison sentence.

Knighton received a $50,000 bond and has a Feb. 25 probable cause conference scheduled for 36th District Court.

No attorney was listed for Knighton on the Wayne County Circuit Court website. 

ghunter@detroitnews.com