By Jon King /

An initial hearing has been waived by a Detroit man charged with mutilating the body of a Livingston County woman reported missing in November.

47-year-old Dowan Knighten was arrested February 11th at a Detroit home with the body of 29-year-old Kayla Pierce. The Handy Township resident was reported missing by her mother on November 24th. Pierce’s body was found in the rear of a Detroit location after an investigation conducted by Detroit Police, assisted by Michigan State Police and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.

Knighten, who is charged with mutilation of a dead body, concealing the death of an individual, and tampering with evidence, was in 36th District Court on Thursday for a probable cause conference in the case. However, his attorney waived that hearing, which was a formality. A preliminary exam was then set for March 25th in which the facts of the case will be presented to determine if there’s enough evidence for Knighten to stand trial.

Pierce, whose 2013 Chrysler 200 was located in Detroit shortly after her disappearance, had last been seen at a Speedway gas station in Howell. If convicted, Knighten faces up to ten years in prison. He remains jailed on a $50,000 bond.

Meanwhile, friends of the Pierce family have set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to cover her funeral expenses as well assist her children, who are being raised by their grandmother.