JASPER, Texas — A Newton County man has confessed to the murder of a Jasper County woman and dumping her body in the Sabine River.

Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman told 12News that Kevin Byerly, 55, who has been charged with the murder of Candi McKee, confessed after he was arrested at his home.

McKee was reported missing Monday morning and Jasper County deputies later found her empty burned out car along County Road 588 near Kirbyville according to the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

Candi McKee
Candi McKee Facebook

Deputies traced McKee's cell phone to an area near the Sabine River and contacted deputies in Vernon Parish who responded to the area and found a pickup bed liner with blood on it according to the sheriff.

A search of the river was made by boat in the area and depuites discovered McKee's body.

Investigators were able to link evidence at the scene to Byerly and when then went to his home they also discovered bloody clothing.

A probable cause affidavit says the woman may have been killed with a screwdriver according to the Beaumont Enterprise.

Byerly admitted at that time that he had met McKee early Monday morning before killing her and dumping her body the sheriff told 12News.

RELATED: Sheriff: Newton County woman's body found in Sabine River, one in custody

Investigators are trying to elevate Byerly's charge to capital murder charge.

Bond for Byerly, who Sheriff Newman says knew the victim, has been set at $1,000,000.

She was reported missing by her husband Monday morning before her car was found according to friends.

Friends of McKee say she worked at Family Dollar in Buna.