Hillsborough man arrested, charged with murder, arson in death of girlfriend

A Hillsborough County man is behind bars after investigators say he killed the mom of his youngsters after which burned his van together with her physique inside.

The horrific particulars are outlined in a report from authorities. 34-yr-previous Michael Clark is accused of murdering Kristen Kelley, his longtime girlfriend and the mom of three of his youngsters.

Surveillance cameras reportedly recorded video on Oct. 15 of the couple arguing outdoors of her office. Over the course of about an hour, investigators stated, the video exhibits Clark acquired bodily, placing Kelley in a headlock earlier than the 2 acquired in his van and drove off.

Authorities keep that someday after that altercation, Clark beat Kelley to dying. He then reportedly put her physique in his van, drove south on I-seventy five to Sarasota and pulled over on the aspect of the street.

Investigators stated they discovered the van Clark was driving engulfed in flames with Kelley’s physique inside and Clark standing outdoors.

When questioned, investigators stated Clark advised them he didn’t understand how Kelley died, how the hearth began or how he obtained to Sarasota. However studies present he had the sufferer’s blood on his garments, bruises on his arms together with a fuel can within the van and a lighter close by.

Authorities report Clark was taken to the hospital and subsequently launched, however then arrested Thursday and charged with Kelley’s homicide, arson, tampering with proof and possession of cocaine.

In line with county data, Clark was arrested days earlier than the incident for aggravated assault. In that incident, he reportedly put a knife to his Kelley’s throat and threated to kill her and himself.

Pals of Kelley stated the information of her dying is devastating. They describe her as a caring, exhausting-working mom who would do something for her youngsters.  

“Kristen was undoubtedly a vibrant individual. All the time glad, all the time uplifting, all the time eager to go the additional mile, all the time eager to have enjoyable, tremendous unbelievable mom,” Kelley’s good friend and co-employee Paige Calhoun stated. “It’s devastating. It’s devastating. On her first night time right here throughout our grand opening she confirmed me a video of all the youngsters within the automotive all saying ‘Go mommy, go mommy, go! You’re gonna do nice, Mommy.’ The whole lot was geared in the direction of these youngsters, every part.”

Calhoun stated she’s not specializing in the horrific particulars of her homicide. Her objective is to assist Kelley’s youngsters and Kelley’s mother and father. She’s began a Gofundme account to assist the household going ahead, and has already raised greater than $eleven,000 by way of a profit occasion for the household.

“We did a silent public sale, a 50/50 raffle. We did a daily raffle,” Calhoun stated. “We had leisure donated, all types of things donated. It was unimaginable to observe the group come collectively for [Kelley].”

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