Hearing for Fritz, former Owendale-Gagetown softball coach, reset for August

ARO -- Authorities here have postponed a preliminary hearing for a former Owendale-Gagetown softball coach accused of criminal sexual conduct with a 14-year-old female athlete.

Cory D. Fritz, 26, of Sebewaing, remains jailed as he awaits a Monday, Aug. 17, hearing at which time District Judge Kim D. Glaspie will determine whether there is probable cause for Fritz to face trial on 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Investigators allege Fritz, from October 2005 to March 2006, had a sexual relationship with a Gagetown sophomore.

The teen became pregnant, authorities allege, but what became of the infant remains a mystery.

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene has alleged that Fritz, in a written statement, has said the girl delivered the child in June 2006 and the remains of the infant are buried in a wooded area in Gagetown or Elmwood Township.

During an earlier court hearing, Reene and Fritz's attorney, Kevin J. Rieman of Bay City, disagreed about whether the child was born alive. Rieman also has questioned whether a child ever existed.

Reene has alleged that Fritz was present when the baby died. He further claimed Fritz indicated the teen had dug a hole to dispose of the body.

Reene has said that police continue to actively search for the remains with help from forensic anthropologists and cadaver dogs.

Meanwhile, Fritz's bond conditions state that if he is released he is prohibited from entering Gagetown or Elmwood Township to remove human remains.

Glaspie set bond at $50,000 cash or surety, which means Fritz must either pay the full amount or pay a surety agent 10 percent to guarantee his appearance in court.

No charges have been filed in connection with the alleged missing remains.

Authorities have not named the teen.

Criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information should call Detective Sgt. Mark Krebs at the state police Bad Axe Post, (989) 269-6442.

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