Police arrested a suspect this week in the slaying of a 59-year-old Milpitas woman, in which the victim's body was buried in the alleged killer's backyard, according to the police department.
Micah James Dovlet, 34, of Milpitas, was arrested and booked into Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of homicide in the death of Tuyet Anh Phan, who had been reported missing for several days, police said.
The investigation started Monday at a mobile home park in the 1500 block of North Milpitas Boulevard, where a Milpitas police officer conducted a welfare check on the victim at her home, police said. Nothing suspicious was found, but because the reporting party had not heard from the victim for several days, officers launched a missing person investigation and later met with family.
On Tuesday morning, officers found evidence of a violent crime near the victim’s home, and detectives took over the investigation, police said. Dovlet, who lived near the victim, was detained at that time.
That same day, a search of the victim’s home and Dovlet’s home indicated a homicide occurred, and Dovlet was later arrested, police said. The victim's body had not yet been recovered.
On Wednesday, detectives developed information on the location of the victim, and on Thursday, officers secured and searched Dovlet’s home a second time. With the help of crime scene investigators and technicians from multiple agencies, the victim’s body was found buried in the backyard, police said.
Tuyet worked at a McDonald's across the street from City Hall and was described by neighbor Suong Ly as a "good person."
"She's always working at nighttime," Ly said.
Ly said her sister heard a loud bang coming from Tuyet's home Saturday night, but no one called the police.
"I feel guilty… because that night I don’t call 911," Ly said.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s crime lab, Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office and Milpitas Police Department's evidence technicians assisted in the investigation, police said.