John D. White was arraigned Thursday in Mount Pleasant on first-degree murder charges and ordered jailed without bond. The ex-convict said he was a church employee until this week.
Police said White admitted thinking several weeks about killing Rebekah Gay. In an affidavit, police said White told them he went to Gay's trailer about 2 a.m. Wednesday, struck her head repeatedly with a mallet, then strangled her with a zip tie.
Police said he led them to her body, a half-mile away from the home in Isabella County's Broomfield Township.