Florida police arrested a suspect Friday in connection with the death of a Palm Bay woman found dead in an undeveloped neighborhood last week.
According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, police found the body of Nancy Howery, 44, in “The Compound,” an undeveloped neighborhood spanning 12 square miles in Palm Bay, which has reportedly been the site of multiple crimes.
Police arrested Daniel Stearns, 32, in connection with the victim’s death.
Howery was reported missing on February 18, from the Indian Harbour Beach area, Click Orlando reports, after failing to pick up her children. Police later found her vehicle abandoned in Palm Bay.
Investigators learned that the defendant and victim were in a relationship and had been arguing a few days before her disappearance. Police then tracked Stearns going from his Palm Bay home to The Compound, where he allegedly disposed of evidence.
An arrest warrant indicated that police believe Stearns shot and killed Howery following the February 15 argument, then dismembered and burned her body. He then allegedly hid her body parts in at least five locations in the undeveloped area.
Stearns is behind bars at the Brevard County Jail Complex, facing second-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and mutilation of a dead body charges.
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[Feature Photo: Nancy Howery and Daniel Stearns/Police Handout]