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Woman goes missing, found dead buried in neighbor’s backyard

A 54-year-old Milpitas woman who had not been seen or heard from in several days was the victim of a homicide, and police said her body was exhumed Thursday in the backyard of a man who resided near her.

Micah James Dovlet, 34, has been arrested and booked into Santa Clara County Jail on homicide charges. To ensure privacy for the victim’s family, the Milpitas Police Department will not be releasing her identity.

On Monday, police received a phone call requesting a welfare check at the woman’s home. The person who contacted police said she was concerned because she had not heard from the victim for several days.

Officers went to the victim’s home, but they could not located her or anything suspicious at the residence. Police issued a missing person investigation, then met with the victim’s relatives at her home. Neighbors of the victim told officers they heard screaming in the immediate area early Saturday morning, however, the information was not provided to the police department at the time.

As the investigation continued, police on Tuesday located evidence near the victim’s home, leading them to believe a violent crime occurred involving the woman. That is when Dovlet was detained. A search of the victim’s home was conducted, and following the issuing of a search warrant, Dovlet’s home was searched. Physical evidence was collected from his home, pertinent enough to indicate that a homicide occurred.

On Wednesday, Milpitas police detectives developed information regarding the victim’s location. Detectives served a second search warrant at Dovlet’s home Thursday, and the victim’s body was located and exhumed from the backyard.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400 or leave an anonymous tip at the department’s crime tip hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the police department’s website at: https://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip.

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