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A body found Tuesday in a backyard is believed to be that of a former reality TV show contestant who vanished over the weekend after attending a birthday party at a California beer hall.
USA TODAY

Police in Lennox, Calif., say they have arrested 34-year-old Jackie Jerome Rogers on suspicion of murder after he revealed during questioning that the body of missing nurse and former reality TV contestant Lisa Marie Naegle was at his home near Los Angeles International Airport.

Naegle, a 36-year-old nurse from San Pedro, was a losing contestant in 2010 on the show Bridalplasty, where she competed for a dream wedding and plastic surgery.

“We can confirm a body which we believe is Lisa Marie was discovered in a shallow grave at the suspect’s home,” police spokesman Sal Ramirez said Tuesday night. “The detectives strongly believe it is her.”

A local newspaper, Torrance’s Daily Breeze, reported that Rogers was a student in one of Naegle’s nursing classes at West Los Angeles College.

Naegle’s husband, Derek Harryman, told the Daily Breeze that she had gone to a birthday party at a Torrance beer hall Saturday night and that the last time he’d heard from her was around 2 a.m. He’d texted her to find out where she was and she called back, sounding “really, really drunk.”

Harryman recalled his wife saying, “‘I’m going to get some food and then I’ll be home.'” But she never came home, so he and his sister-in-law filed a missing person’s report and rallied help on social media.

As the investigation progressed, photos turned up showing Naegle leaving the beer hall with Rogers and getting into his SUV, which Naegle’s brother says was confirmed by security camera footage.

“We went and we looked at the film and she left with him,” Rafael Chavez said. “He told everybody he left without her.”

Naegle’s sister, Naegle-Kaimona, told KABC-TV, that the family had pleaded with Rogers for details of that night but that his story kept changing.

“While he was talking to us and telling us his story, multiple different times he said he absolutely did not go home with her or did not take her home,” Naegle-Kaimona noted.

Once Naegle’s family confronted Rogers with the evidence that she’d been seen getting into his car, he admitted that she had been in his car. Then he said she’d gotten out soon afterward, which seemed unlikely.

By that point, the shifting details in his story had alarmed the family to the point where they contacted the police.

Contributing: The Associated Press