IOWA CITY, Iowa – The body of a girl found in an abandoned mobile home was identified Saturday as Jetseta Marrie Gage (search), the 10-year-old girl who was abducted from her home in Cedar Rapids.
The Johnson County (search) sheriff's office said Gage died from asphyxia and that her death has been ruled a homicide. An autopsy was performed at University Hospitals in Iowa City.
The man accused of snatching Gage from her home was being held Saturday night on $1 million bond.
Roger P. Bentley (search), 37, a registered sex offender, made an initial court appearance earlier in the day in Linn County District Court on one count of child stealing. Bentley appeared disheveled during the court appearance, made via teleconference.
Maj. Steve Dolezal, of the Johnson County sheriff's office, said in a news release that charges against Bentley are pending in his county and could be filed by Monday morning.
Investigators discovered the body of a young girl Friday at an abandoned mobile home in a rural area near the small town of Kalona, about 45 miles south of the girl's home.
Authorities have declined to release many details of their investigation, which turned Friday when they received a call from a person who reported seeing a pickup matching the description of Bentley's parked outside the mobile home.
Bentley was taken into custody and the body was found later that day.
Described by the missing girl's mother, Trena Gage, as a friend of the family, Bentley was at the home Thursday afternoon working on the transmission of the family's mini van. Police say Trena Gage's seven-year-old son saw his sister get in the truck with Bentley, minutes after the children's grandmother, Teresa Gage, told them it was about time to go to bed.
"I told the (children) that they had 30 minutes to play" before bedtime, Teresa Gage told The Gazette. She said she thought Bentley left the house about 8:15 p.m. "and when he left, I locked the door and went downstairs to check on Jetseta. I couldn't find her."
The family has been unable to locate Jetseta's father, Chris Kolvar.
Trena Gage said she met Bentley about five years ago through his brother, James Bentley, whom Gage once dated for about a year.
James Bentley, 33, is also being held in the Linn County Jail where he is awaiting a May 31 trial on second-degree sexual abuse charges, alleging he assaulted a girl repeatedly over a two-year period in Benton and Linn counties.
According to the state Sex Offender Registry, Roger Bentley was convicted in 1994 of lascivious acts with a seven-year-old child. He served two years of a five-year sentence.