Hazel Park man confesses to hiding body in home

Victim is missing Troy woman

By: Andy Kozlowski, Terry Oparka | Madison - Park News | Published May 6, 2016




HAZEL PARK — The search for a missing Troy woman came to a tragic end when a Hazel Park man allegedly confessed to police that her body was hidden in his home.

Jordan McClanahan, 23, is charged in the murder of Jessica White, 21, whose badly decomposed body was found wrapped up and stowed away in a roofline storage area connected to the bedroom of his father’s bungalow home.

At press time, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper had just announced that McClanahan would be charged with first-degree premeditated murder, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and desecration of a body, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Police said they believe McClanahan strangled White to death on April 23. Police also said it appears the suspect and the victim were just friends and not in a relationship.

Troy Police Capt. Robert Redmond said that his department had been “relentlessly pursuing all information” after White’s mother reported her missing to Troy police about 10 days prior to the suspect’s confession.

“The victim’s mother was concerned she was missing,” Redmond said. “She said, ‘She texts me every day. (Her cellphone) is never off.’”

Redmond said McClanahan told his father “he did something wrong.” His father brought him to the Troy Police Department just after 8 p.m. May 3. Redmond said the suspect talked to Troy police and reportedly said White’s body was at his home in the 600 block of East Woodward Heights, in the Nine Mile and Hilton area.

Redmond said that Hazel Park police executed a search warrant there and found a body that “was not recognizable.” At press time, an autopsy by the Oakland County medical examiner had just determined that the woman was strangled to death via ligature.

Police had previously spoken with McClanahan during their search for White.

At that time, “He indicated that yes, they were together that night, but she wanted to go somewhere else, so he dropped her off at Seven Mile and John R in the early hours of the morning,” said Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner.

He noted that while an arrest has been made, the investigation is not closed.

“We’re still gathering evidence and things of that nature to assist in a successful prosecution,” Barner said. “I give the family and friends of the victim a lot of credit. They’re a good, strong group. It’s admirable how diligent they and the volunteers were, doing everything they could in an attempt to locate Jessica.”