Court docs: Teen confessed to strangling half sister

An undated courtesy photo of Savon Schmus.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 16-year-old boy confessed to strangling his half sister at the apartment they shared with their father in an interview with authorities, court records indicate.

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office has charged 16-year-old Savon Schmus as an adult with open murder in the death of 18-year-old McKenna Hilton.

McKenna Hilton
An undated courtesy photo of McKenna Elizabeth Hilton.

Autopsy results concluded that Hilton’s death was a homicide with the cause of death being strangulation.

Authorities say the incident allegedly happened at the apartment the two shared with their father and McKenna’s mother in Lamberton Lakes Apartments, located in the 3000 block of Plaza Drive NE in Grand Rapids.

Records don’t say what may have led to the homicide.

Detectives say Schmus then allegedly drove Hilton’s body in her car around the other side of Lamberton Lake in Grand Rapids Township, where he dumped her body.

A dog walker later found her body on Aug. 18 in the brush at Emerald Lake Drive and Valentine Street NE.

Schmus, who has no prior criminal record, is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday in 61st District Court. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison without parole.

Funeral services for Hilton were held Wednesday. Her obituary said she dreamed of moving to New Orleans and working as a medical therapist.

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