DOVER (FOX 13) - An elderly Dover couple's handyman is now their accused killer after authorities in Kentucky found him driving the victims' stolen SUV Friday and arrested him.
Hillsborough County deputies identified the suspect as Michael Herald, 47, and charged him with two counts of first degree murder in connection with the deaths of John and Nancy Engelhart.
"I'm in shock," said Linda Smith, who broke down in tears as she spoke about her neighbors. "They didn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this. I mean, they were my neighbors, but I respected that they were private people and they didn't want to be bothered."
The Engelharts' next door neighbor, Shawn McIntosh, said Herald was known in the community; he had lived with McIntosh in 2004 before he disappeared for about a decade.
McIntosh said Herald came back a few weeks ago on a Greyhound Bus.
"He just showed up, unannounced, after 10 years," he said.
McIntosh told FOX 13 News, Herald began doing jobs for the Engelharts, and even stayed with them at times; John Engelhart, 77, was undergoing medical treatments and his wife, Nancy, 74, liked having help around the house.
"Nancy was, from what I understand, very happy that Mike was there. John was extremely weak from the chemo[therapy]," McIntosh said.
McIntosh said he last saw Herald Wednesday morning, when he heard something that now seems suspicious.
"Me and my son heard three distinct bangs," McIntosh said, adding he initially didn't think that was out of the ordinary. "It sounded like banging a hammer on metal so we assumed that Mike was over there working."
Folks around the home on McIntosh Road said they'd see the Engelharts taking care of their yard and garden every day for years and began noticing that the Engelharts weren't outside anymore; neighbors discussed with each other that the mail was also accumulating.
"[My neighbor] goes, 'well her mail is piling up, her packages are piling up, her van is missing and I haven't seen her outside for a couple days,'" Smith said.
Neighbors called 911 and, during a welfare check Thursday night, Hillsborough deputies found the bodies of John and Nancy Engelhart in a shed on their property. The couple's 2015 Ford Explorer was missing.
Authorities in Hazard, Ky. caught Herald Friday afternoon.
"It's extremely upsetting. Who wouldn't be upset when their neighbor has met their demise in such a horrendous way?" McIntosh said. "My dad was beside himself all day [Thursday] just concerned about their well-being."
Nancy Engelhart taught Social Studies and History at Hillsborough High School for 30 years before retiring in 1994.
Hillsborough detectives were flying to Kentucky to interview Herald. They have not yet said how the Engelharts were killed.