GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The remains of a Grand Rapids native have been found buried in a backyard in Fordyce, Arkansas – and investigators say her stepmother and stepbrothers invented an alibi to hide the murder for 15 months.
Nancy Harvill, 34, was tortured and beaten to death between August 26 and 28, 2011, according to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. Sherri Bowen – Harvill’s stepmother – and her two stepbrothers – John and Christopher Aldrich – have been arrested and charged with capital murder.
Nancy’s remains were found earlier this month after John Aldrich turned himself into police and confessed to the murder.
Bowen and Christopher Aldrich were arrested on Jan. 18.
Peter Jones is Harvill’s half-brother and still lives in Grand Rapids with the father he shared with Nancy – Homer Jones. Homer is currently in Arkansas preparing to bury his daughter.
“I didn’t even know she was missing,” Homer said. He found out about his daughter’s murder on a Little Rock TV station’s website.
“I’ve been talking to her off and on on the computer,” he said. “At least I thought it was her. Suddenly, all communication stopped for about a year.”
Gary Harvill – Nancy’s ex-husband – heard a strange story from Bowen when he’d call to speak with Nancy.
“Her stepmother would tell me that she had gone to New Orleans or she had gone to Michigan,” he said. “At one point, it was told she had even went to Florida.”
Once he heard about the murder, he knew John couldn’t have acted alone.
“When this investigation first started, I was telling everybody, ‘Don’t only look at John,’” he said. “‘Look at everybody in that household.’”
Homer says he had exchanged emails and Facebook messages with Nancy’s accounts for several months after the murder, with no knowledge of what had happened. Investigators say Bowen and the Aldrich brothers told people Nancy had left Arkansas with a friend.
Harvill’s two sons – ages 10 and 6 – were not told the same story, according to Peter.
“They told them that they can’t go play out in the backyard because that’s where your mother is buried,” he said.
Nancy’s remains will be laid to rest in Fordyce on Wednesday.
“I was hoping she would bury me,” Homer said. “Now everything’s gotta be changed around.”