Pair Arrested in Murder Case 4 Years After Police Identify Human Remains on Maryland Shore

The remains of missing Megan Leah Tilman, 42-year-old mother of three, were found in October 2017

Megan Leah Tilman
Megan Leah Tilman. Photo: Facebook

Jim Tilman is still haunted by his murdered daughter Megan Leah Tilman's last moments.

"You think how tragic it really was," he told WBAL-TV in Baltimore. "You think about their last 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes. Did they suffer?"

Just as agonizing was the wait for answers in Megan Tilman's death. A relative had reported Megan, of Annapolis, Maryland, missing on Nov. 1, 2017, according to Anne Arundel County Police. She hadn't been heard from since Sept. 26 of that year.

At the time, Megan, 42, had been sharing a rented townhome with her mother, her boyfriend, William Rice, and a roommate, Christina Stalling, WBAL reported in 2018. But the mother had moved out, and frictions between Megan and her family led to an apparent estrangement.

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Fears arose when Megan — who had two daughters, Paris and Grace, and a son, Ceci — failed to show up in court for a child custody hearing, WMAR-TV reported in 2020. Rice and Stallings left town not long after Megan disappeared.

Meanwhile, two weeks before the missing persons report was filed with Annapolis police, authorities were called on Oct. 18, 2017, to the scene of human remains found on the Maryland shore in Shady Side, police said.

The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, Anne Arundel County Police said in a news release.

After pairing the discovery with the missing persons report, police collected DNA samples from Megan's relatives and were able to identify Megan as the victim.

William Rice and Christina Harnish
William Rice and Christina Gail Harnish. Pima County Sheriff's Department

On Wednesday, more than four years later, authorities in Arizona arrested Rice, 46, and Stallings, also known as Christina Gail Harnish, 45, as suspects in Megan's murder. They were picked up in a homeless camp by Pima County Sheriff's deputies, who learned from Anne Arundel County police that the pair was in the Tucson area, reports

Both are being held in Arizona for extradition to Maryland, where they will be formally charged and have the opportunity to enter pleas. Attorneys for the pair were not immediately identified.

"There's no way to describe my emotions," Megan's father said after the arrests, reports WMAR. "It was just like a huge brick had been lifted off me."

"No one deserves what Megan went through," he said.

Anne Arundel County Police Lt. Jacklyn Davis said that "The two that have been arrested for this offense had been on detective's radar from the beginning, and like I said, sometimes it's that old movie line, 'It's not what you know, it's what you can prove,'" according to WMAR.

Megan's aunt, Shannon Perry, told the TV station: "We kind of knew we were getting close to an arrest but it actually happening was pretty amazing. It's kind of [like] we're able to breathe again."

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