Man charged with first-degree murder in deaths of wife's family

Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A man accused of killing his wife, her parents and her brother has been brought to Florida from Ohio to be charged with murder.

Shelby Nealy, 25, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated animal cruelty for the deaths of Richard Ivancic, 71, Laura Ivancic, 59, and Nicholas Ivancic, 25, along with three dogs inside a Tarpon Springs home.

Nealy is also suspected of murdering his wife, Jamie Ivancic, but has not yet been charged in her death.

No one had seen Jamie for about a year, but Nealy repeatedly assured her parents and others that his wife was just busy and unavailable.

Then in December, her parents and brother also went silent, prompting a relative to ask police to check on their home. On New Year's Day, Tarpon Springs police found the decomposing bodies of Jamie's parents and brother inside their home, along with the bodies of their three dogs.

On Jan. 3, police in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio, arrested Nealy — who also goes by Shelby Svensen — after spotting him in his mother-in-law's stolen SUV. His two children — ages 2 and 3 — were with him and are now in the care of child welfare authorities there.

Nealy confessed to killing his in-laws, and authorities then said his wife was missing. Soon after, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office announced that Jamie Ivancic's body was recovered in the back yard of a home she'd lived in with Nealy, about 10 miles from her parents' home.

Deputies said no one remembers speaking with Jamie Ivancic since last January. It was about that time that she told some family members that she was planning to take the kids and leave Nealy. She wasn't seen again after that.

Karma Stewart, who is Jamie Ivancic's sister, told news outlets they last talked on Facetime Jan. 25, 2018. Since then, she said, there were sporadic text messages from Jamie Ivancic's phone, but no one had spoken to her.

"I feel betrayed and that I was played," Stewart said. "I didn't expect the worst when I probably should have."

"It would appear that he was able to just trick them into thinking that she was unavailable, she was somewhere else and she was unavailable for a phone call," Harrington said. He said investigators are "backtracking" to determine how Nealy was able to convince everyone his wife was OK.

"They vacated the residence, he and his kids, close to a year ago and he's been in various places, in the area and elsewhere," Harrington said.

Family members said the couple met in 2016, while Nealy was hanging out with Nicholas Ivancic. Stewart said the couple married in 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.