Missing woman found murdered, suspect arrested

Isabella County authorities have found the body of 24-year-old Rebekah Jane Gay, who had been missing since 6:50 a.m. Wednesday.

They have arrested 55-year-old John Douglas White of Mt. Pleasant and charged him with open murder and first degree homicide - premeditated. Both are felonies that carry a life sentence.

The Isabella County Sheriff says Rebekah was hit over the head with a rubber mallet at her home on M-20 near Coldwater Road. Police say Rebekah then hit the ground and White put a large zip tie around her neck and strangled her. White then took her body and dumped it in a wooded area, where she was later found.

Officials say her 3-year-old son was in her home at the time of the murder and was left there alone. White was a family friend who sometimes babysat for Rebekah's son. Officials say Rebekah had told her co-workers that at times, the White made her feel uncomfortable.

Rebekah's car was found parked behind The Barn Door, a bar near her home, on Wednesday. She was last seen at her home on M-20 near Coldwater Road.