Officials in western Michigan have ruled that a 16-year-old girl found dead in Kalamazoo in late January was strangled to death after being kidnapped on her way to school.
Mujey Dumbuya’s cause of death was listed as ‘asphyxia, including strangulation’ on her death certificate.
Dumbuya’s partially-clothed body was found January 28 in Kalamazoo, about 50 miles from her Grand Rapids home.
Her family last saw her alive on January 24 as she headed off to school.
Cause of death: Mujey Dumbuya, 16, was strangled to death before her body was found in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in January. Quinn James, 42, who had allegedly raped Mujey in 2017, is considered a person of interest in her death
James is pictured at a court hearing on March 9. His rape case is set to go to trial in April
Quinn James, 42, currently faces trial in Kent County Circuit Court on criminal sexual conduct charges. James is accused of sexually assaulting Dumbuya last summer.
He was arrested in November 2017 but a judge allowed him to be released on bond.
Authorities picked him up on February 1 on an unrelated 2014 sexual assault charge also involving a teenage girl.
MLive.com says Dumbuya was scheduled to testify against James at his rape trial set for April. He is considered a person of interest but has not been charged in the girl’s death.
Two months before she disappeared, Dumbuya told police James raped her in a parking lot near Ridge Park Charter Academy.
Star witness: Dumbuya (left and right) said James forced her to have sex numerous times in various places starting from when she was 15
James was arrested in November 2017 but a judge allowed him to be released on bond
‘There is something about you. I could stop, but I just can’t,’ Dumbuya said he told her before the attack.
Court records show James admitted he had sex with the teenage girl inside his parked car outside the school, where his finacee’s nephew, who is Dumbuya’s boyfriend, was a student.
Daquarius Daymont Bibbs, 17, has been named as a material witness against James. He has been under house arrest for the past two weeks.
James told investigators his sexual encounters with Dumbuya were consensual, according to WWMT.
But Dumbuya said James, who despite his criminal history was employed as a groundskeeper by the Kentwood Public School District, forced her to have sex numerous times in various places starting from when she was 15, according to court documents.
He was charged with four counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor as was facing a mandatory 25-year sentence as prosecutors charged him as a habitual offender.
He was also ordered to stay away from Dumbuya.
James was hired to work on the school district’s grounds and maintenance crew in 2011.
She was found wearing a black Columbia jacket, a T-shirt with a print of Cinderella’s face on the front, blue jeans and pink Nike tennis shoes (pictured) but her right shoe was missing
He was a convicted felon at the time, with a criminal history that included convictions for armed robbery and possessing a weapon in prison.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Office had tried to charge him with the 2014 rape, but prosecutors declined to pursue it at the time.
Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff said Dumbuya and her family informed school district officials about the alleged assault in mid-November, Buzzfeed News reports.
He said officials weren’t aware of James’ criminal history, but he had ‘very little contact with students and none as part of his responsibilities.’