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James Walker

Deputies arrested a man they said killed a 22-year-old woman whose body was found along U.S. 24 in Cascade earlier this summer, authorities announced Friday.

James Maurice Walker, 47, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the killing of Dedrea Duncan, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said in a statement issued Friday.

Duncan's body was found early July 31 after a caller reported seeing her body along the roadway, according to the release. 

Judy Bartlett, Duncan's mother, called her daughter "the light of my heart," in an interview with Gazette news partner KKTV. 

“Whenever I was down, I was calling her for her to pick me up. And she would do the same thing with me," Bartlett said in the interview.

Duncan was a former student at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, a spokesman for the school confirmed. She enrolled in classes during the fall semesters of 2017 and 2018, but had not graduated.

The Sheriff's Office did not release additional information about Duncan's death, an Walker's arrest affidavit was sealed. Officials encouraged anyone with information regarding the case to call the agency's tip line at (719) 520-6666.

Reach Olivia at olivia.prentzel@gazette.com.

Twitter: @oliviaprentzel

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