Police arrested Shelby Nealy for allegedly murdering his in-laws as police search for his wife, who has been reported missing
A 25-year-old Ohio man has been arrested for allegedly murdering his wife’s parents, their adult son and their three small dogs as authorities search for his wife who is missing under suspicious circumstances, police say.
On Friday, police in Lakewood, Ohio, arrested Shelby John Nealy, 25, a.k.a. Shelby Svensen, and charged him with three counts of first-degree murder following the shocking discovery of three badly decomposed bodies in a mobile home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, on New Year’s Day, Tarpon Springs Police Major Jeff Young said in a press conference Friday.
The murders are believed to have taken place late on Dec. 19 or on Dec. 20, Young said.
Nealy’s arrest in Ohio came after neighbors called Tarpon Springs police to say they had seen Nealy digging a ditch in his in-laws’ yard in The Meadows, a mobile home retirement park, with a young child by his side, Young said.
Tarpon Springs police contacted authorities in Lakewood when they determined “this may be an area where the subject may be located,” Young said.
While in custody, Nealy confessed to murdering his wife’s father, Richard Louis Ivancic, 71, his wife’s mother, Laura Ann Ivancic, 59, and their 25-year-old son, Nicholas James Ivancic, according to Young.
But he gave no indication about the whereabouts of his 21-year-old wife, Jamie Nicole Ivancic, he said.
“We do fear that she too may be the victim of foul play,” Young said Friday.
Ivancic is the mother of the couple’s two children, who are 3 and 2.
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She has been listed in the National Center for Missing and Endangered, and is described as a tall white female, with a height of 5 foot, 5 inches, brown hair, and hazel eyes.
On Monday, authorities worked to determine whether a body found buried in a backyard of a Port Richey, Florida, home is that of Ivancic, local Ohio TV station WBNS, local Florida TV station WFLA and other outlets reported.
The body was discovered on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m. in the yard of a home in Port Richey where the couple may have once lived, the outlets reported.
The Port Richey Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet confirmed the identity of the body.
The couple’s two children were found safe inside the residence in Ohio. They are in the custody of Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services.
Nealy, who remains in the custody of Lakewood Police, is expected to be extradited shortly to Florida.
It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf or if he has entered a plea of guilt or innocence.
In the meantime, authorities in two states continue to look for clues as to Jamie Ivancic’s whereabouts and a motive for the killing, Young said.
Calls for comment to the Pasco County Medical Examiner, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the Tarpon Springs Police Department were not immediately returned.
Anyone who may have information about this case or know the whereabouts of Jamie Ivancic is asked to call the Tarpon Springs Police Department’s detective tip-line at 727-937-1558.