Man arrested in Lakewood bludgeoned ex-wife’s family with hammer: court records
TARPON SPRINGS, Fla.— A man accused of killing his ex-wife’s parents and brother after they began to suspect that he had also killed her ambushed them with a hammer just before Christmas, according to newly released court documents.
Investigators eventually tracked Shelby Nealy, 25, to Lakewood, Ohio, thanks in part to a pizza he had delivered to the home of Richard and Laura Ivancic after the couple and their adult son Nicholas were bludgeoned on Dec. 15 and 16, court records said. Their bodies weren’t discovered until New Year’s Day, after the older son of Richard Ivancic contacted authorities when he couldn’t reach his father. Nealy was arrested Jan. 3, with his two children, ages 2 and 3, in a vehicle stolen from his former mother-in-law.
The Tampa Bay Times reports Nealy was extradited to Florida on Saturday and faces three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of grand theft. He’s being held without bond. Nealy hasn’t yet been charged in the death of Jamie Ivancic, who authorities believe was killed in January 2018. Her remains were found in the days after Nealy’s arrest.
Nealy confessed to investigators, and said he killed the Ivancics after they began getting suspicious because they had not talked to her in nearly a year, records show. Detectives said Nealy used his ex-wife’s phone to send text messages and pictures of their two young children to her parents.
Investigators pieced together a timeline of what happened at the Ivancic’s home in Tarpon Springs, which is near Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Police haven’t said whether he broke into the home, or was invited in. But records show he attacked Richard Ivancic, 71, on Dec. 15. When Laura Ivancic, 59, returned home, she was attacked in the kitchen with the same hammer. Investigators said Nealy wrapped the two bodies in rugs and put them in the bedroom.
Later that evening, Nicholas Ivancic, 25, came home and was asleep on the sofa when he was killed early on Dec. 16, records show. The family’s three dogs were also killed.
The complaint details evidence detectives used to track Nealy, including video that captured him buying supplies used in the killings at a nearby Home Depot and selling jewelry at pawn shops between Dec. 16 and 18. He used his fingerprint to complete those transactions, records show.
Detectives said Nealy used his phone to order a Domino’s pizza, which was delivered to the Ivancic’s home Dec. 21.
The children are now in state custody.