FORDYCE, Ark. (KTHV) - Investigators said that stepbrother, John Aldridge, admitted to killing his stepsister, Nancy Harvill, and then burying her body.
Authorities said that it appears she'd been buried for more than a year inside that shop, but they wouldn't have found her remains if a family member hadn't come forward last week about her disappearance and where she may have been buried.
Mandi Sanders had known Nancy Harvill since her high school days in Fordyce.
"I rode the school bus with her, and actually, she had come over to my mother's house before, and you could say we took her in, and we became good friends," Sanders said.
She'd kept in contact with Harvill until recently.
"We hadn't seen her in awhile, and I didn't think this, you know," she explained.
"She was wrapped in plastic. She was bound around the legs. There was a ligature tied around her neck," described Investigator Chuck Barker. "He said that it was an argument that they had. He claims that he has fits of rage and goes into blackouts...and his anger just developed into rage, and it escalated from there."
Barker said Aldrich told him that argument was over how an ex-boyfriend was treating Harvill's children.
Harvill had apparently been missing since Oct. 2011, but her family never reported anything.
"The interviews that we conducted indicated the family believed that she had just run off, and they didn't bother to follow up or figure out where she'd been over the last 14 months," Barker said.
"It hurts me to think she would run off and leave her two little boys and that's not her," Sanders said in disbelief about everything. "She's never done harm to anyone that I know of, that's why this is such a big shock to all of us."
Despite what Sanders said, a family member told THV 11 News that Harvill would take off all the time, sometimes for weeks, and that's why family didn't suspect anything was wrong.
Authorities said they don't have any other suspects beyond Aldrich, but they are still collecting information on the circumstances leading up to this week's discovery.
As for the victim's children, she has two boys-10 and 7. They're now in the Department of Human Service's custody.
Aldrich is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond.