MUNCIE, Ind. — The search for a missing Muncie woman led to the arrest of her ex-husband on a murder charge.

The Muncie Police Department said the family of 46-year-old Marcia Curtis reported her missing on Sept. 6.

On Thursday, detectives following up on leads found remains at an abandoned property along East County Road 800S. After further investigation, police said the remains were identified as those of Curtis. They described the case as an active homicide investigation.

“I just prayed and prayed and prayed the whole time she was missing, God, don’t let that be the fate she ran into, but it is the fate she ran into,” said Vylinda Driskill, who was friends with Marcia Curtis.

Officers arrested Curtis’ ex-husband, 50-year-old Ceaser L. Curtis, on a preliminary murder charge on Thursday. Police didn’t provide any additional details about Marcia Curtis’ death or the circumstances surrounding her ex-husband’s arrest, but court documents did reveal more about what led to Ceaser being arrested.

According to court documents, Marcia Curtis was reported missing on Sept. 6 by her daughters. The daughters told police that her ex-husband, Ceaser, was the last person to see Marcia as he picked her up from her job in Portland.

Police then called Ceaser who confirmed to officers that he picked up his ex-wife on Sept. 1 and drove her back to Muncie, documents reveal. Ceaser claimed that during the car ride the pair began to argue and Marcia demanded to be let out of the vehicle. Ceaser told officers he last saw Marcia after she exited his vehicle near Jackson Street and Butterfield Road in Muncie.

Several days later, police learned of messages sent by Ceaser that expressed anger that his ex-wife, Marcia, was talking to other men.

“I think he was controlling and verbally abusive. He controlled everything. He was in control of her. There was no way around it. He was very controlling,” Driskill said.

Court records indicated that Marcia Curtis filed for divorce in December 2022. The marriage was formally dissolved on March 28, according to the case log.

Witnesses reveal Ceaser Curtis exhibited strange behavior before leaving to pick up Marcia from work on Sept. 1. Two witnesses told police that prior to leaving to pick her up, Ceaser purposely left his phone behind, which was uncommon for him to do. The witnesses said Ceaser often took someone with him on his drive to pick up Marcia but didn’t on Sept. 1.

Court documents also reveal that a search of Ceaser’s phone found that Marcia told him she was “done with his s***” but still wanted a ride from work. She then quit responding to Ceaser’s messages, including Ceaser attempting to call her 36 straight times, according to the court documents.

On Sept. 14, another witness spoke to police who reportedly told investigators that Ceaser had contacted them to request they kill Marcia. The witness told officers this request happened soon after Ceaser found out Marcia was talking to other men, despite the former couple being divorced. Ceaser also reportedly told the witness he had a homemade pipe he wanted them to use in the murder.

That same day, police document another witness coming forward to tell officers that Ceaser recently admitted to them that “he did it.” Ceaser reportedly told the witness that he took Marcia out towards the reservoir and attacked her with a baseball bat.

The witness then led police to old abandoned houses in the area of the reservoir where the witness and Ceaser used to sometimes go. While showing the officers one of the locations on 800 South, officers spotted a shoe and then smelled a strong odor of decay. A corpse was found near the old house that was later identified as Marcia Curtis.

According to the documents, officers noted “significant trauma to the head.”

“As far as I am concerned, he is Satan in the flesh,” Driskill said of Ceaser Curtis.

Previous court documents showed police were called out to Marcia Curtis’ home in April after her car windows were shot out by a BB gun. Marcia reportedly told officers that her ex-husband Ceaser Curtis had been continually messaging her despite a protective order filed against him. A misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy was filed against Ceaser Curtis in early June relating to this incident.

If convicted of murder, Ceaser Curtis could face up to 65 years in prison.

“I feel like until there is something permanent done with him, justice will not be served. Unless he is there for good. It’s all in God’s hands from here on out,” Driskill said.