Memphis police have charged a man with murder in the death of a woman whose body was found decapitated and dismembered in northern Mississippi.

James Hawkins was first charged Monday morning with abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and filing a false report. Later on Monday police said they were charging him with first-degree murder.

The woman has been identified as Charlene Gaither of Memphis. Her body, without a head, hands or feet, was found Thursday in DeSoto County.

Police say Hawkins was Gaither's live-in boyfriend. He denied killing her but said he was present when she died. Police say he admitted to decapitating and dismembering the woman and dumping her body.