michelle sorrows missing

VIRGINIA CITY - A Montana man is accused of killing his girlfriend and burying her body on a remote corner of a ranch.

Court documents filed in early December say Stanley Gordon Bernardini abused Michelle Sorrows before he killed her this summer.

Sorrows was last seen in Ennis on July 30, and reported missing on Aug. 3.

A confidential informant came forward in November and told detectives that Bernardini killed Sorrows after a fight on a property on the Braxton/Jumping Horse Ranch property.

The informant said Sorrows regained consciousness while in the back of a pickup and tried to jump out and escape, but Bernardini "finished her off" before burying her body in a grave he dug using a company backhoe.

Bernardini allegedly researched ways to cover up the crime, including using black electrical tape to hide the taillights on the backhoe, and bleach to remove bloodstains.

Forensic investigators found evidence of blood on the walls and floors throughout the apartment where the murder is alleged to have taken place. They say they also found marijuana.

Searchers have not been able to find the alleged grave.

Bernardini is charged with tampering with evidence and drug possession.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office asks that anyone with information on Sorrows' disappearance come forward and call 406-843-5301.

-Jackie Coffin contributed to this report

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