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Pregnant woman strangled before boyfriend ‘dumped’ her body, police say

28-year-old Mahmood Amjad Bhatti was charged with murder and murder of an unborn child, after police said he killed a pregnant woman.
28-year-old Mahmood Amjad Bhatti was charged with murder and murder of an unborn child, after police said he killed a pregnant woman.

A man was arrested Wednesday for the murder of a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

The victim’s body was discovered on the side of a road in Fort Mill on Oct. 19, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said. An autopsy revealed the victim was pregnant, and officials used her tattoos to identify her as 23-year-old Natalie Nicholle Merrick, who was reported missing on Oct. 20, Capt. Chris Dozier said.

Police determined Merrick was killed in Charlotte, and her body was dumped at the location in Fort Mill where she was found. The South Carolina medical examiner hasn’t announced a cause of death yet, Dozier said, but Merrick’s injuries were consistent with strangulation.

On Tuesday, 28-year-old Mahmood Amjad Bhatti, of Charlotte was named as a suspect, and he was arrested Wednesday.

Bhatti and Merrick were in a long-term relationship and had a child together, Dozier said.

Bhatti was also arrested in August and charged with assault on a female, according to the Mecklenburg County Jail. Dozier refused to confirm whether the victim in that case was Merrick.

Bhatti faces charges of murder and murder of an unborn child, police said.

LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS

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