A fisherman reportedly discovered the body of Robbin Gore on July 12, just south of Little Rock. Authorities said she was strangled to death with a belt.
The woman's remains were identified Monday.
An Arkansas man, James Clyde Martin, 36, is charged with murder and abuse of a corpse.
Sheriff's deputies said Martin confessed to striking Gore and using a belt to strangle her. Police said he then dumped her body in the woods near a mobile home park.
Martin is being held on a $1 million bond.
Gore's mother, Lorraine Howard, said Martin and her daughter were acquaintances, but were not dating. Authorities have not released a possible motive for the killing.
Gore grew up in the Muskegon area and went to Oakridge High School for a time. As a teenager, she and her family moved south. When her parents moved back to West Michigan, she stayed in Arkansas.
Gore's mother said her daughter was a nurse.