CROWN POINT | Authorities arrested a Gary man Wednesday in connection with the death of a Michigan woman whose body was found in 2011 at the Ivanhoe Nature Conservancy in Lake County.
Cadereo Jester, 26, admitted to dealing drugs in Michigan City and knowing the victim, identified as Christine Arnold, also known as "CC," according to a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday in Lake Criminal Court.
Jester told police he and Arnold, who allegedly owed Jester $65, went to an abandoned home in the 300 block of Hovey Street in Gary where they fought for about 20 minutes.
Jester admitted to putting the woman, then of New Buffalo, Mich., and formerly of LaPorte, in her Mercedes-Benz, driving away from the Hovey Street house and "driving through some gate," according to the affidavit.
Arnold's body was found July 18, 2011, in the backseat of the car, which had crashed through the gate at the Ivanhoe Nature Conservancy.
Still running with the driver's door open, the car was stopped off the road in a wooded area of the property. The chain-link fence bordering the nature preserve had been knocked down, the affidavit states.
Lake County Sheriff's Department crime lab detectives collected evidence from the car, which included a piece of glass. A cellphone belonging to Arnold, 23, was tracked to the Hovey Street address.
Jester was linked to the scene when a search of the Indiana DNA database showed him a possible match to the DNA on the glass sample, the affidavit states.
An autopsy determined Arnold died of traumatic head injuries and strangulation, the affidavit states. Contributing factors included a stab wound to the left arm and multiple bruises and abrasions.
Jester was arrested Wednesday in Gary, authorities said.