Updated January 27, 2023A couple involved in the disappearance of former roommate Megan Tillman in 2017 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for murdering her, state attorney Anne Cortoleites announced.
Christina Harnish, also known as Christina Stirlings, and William Rice filed a petition Wednesday afternoon at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis. Sentencing for the two is scheduled for May 26, 2023, with the state seeking up to 40 years in prison for each.
“Megan provided Mr. Rice and Mr. Harnish with friendship, a home, and trust. When finances hit rock bottom, they did more than betray that trust. They took her life.” ‘ said Laytes. “While Megan will not be returning, I hope today’s guilty plea will bring Megan justice to her family who have long waited for an answer to this heinous crime.
“I am extremely proud of Neubauer’s efforts of all agencies and Assistant State Attorneys involved in this case. Annapolis Police Department and Ann Arundel County Police Department Detective Aaron Stein and Sgt. Years of working on this cold case and working with our office to prepare the indictment and eventual indictment. It didn’t matter, but we agreed to the challenge and two murderers were held accountable.”
The case was prosecuted on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County by Assistant State Attorney Glenn Neubauer.
In the fall of 2017, Rice and Harnish were roommates with Tillman and her elderly mother, relying on them for financial support. Once Tillman stopped offering that support, she disappeared. Her family reported missing contact from Tillman, who spoke regularly on the phone with her young daughter. Her ex-husband reported receiving suspicious texts from her and seeing social posts on her account that were clearly different from normal communications.
By then, Rice and Harnish had fled to Arizona by bus.
In October 2017, shortly after her disappearance, Tillman’s body was found on the bay in the Cedarhurst community of Shadyside. Police have linked both to Tillman’s missing car. Rice was identified as the man who was driving Tillman’s car to multiple of his ATM machines around the time Tillman went missing. Harnish posted a photo of himself on social media as he drove to bring his pet home before the pair fled the state. was found to exist.
The two were arrested in Arizona and extradited to Maryland in early 2022 where they were held without custody.
The honorable Kathleen Vitale presided over the case.
Updated January 27, 2022: On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at approximately 1:30 p.m., officers from the Ann Arundel County Police Department arrived in the Holly and Chesapeake Drive neighborhoods of Shadyside, Maryland to report that a body may have been recovered. I judged. The scene was secured and a homicide investigator was summoned.
A large-scale search of the coastline was conducted by numerous patrols, detectives, and members of the Department of Natural Resources. A search resulted in the discovery of additional human bones.
All recovered bodies were taken to the chief coroner’s office for post-mortem examination. An assessment by OCME reveals that the decedent is a Caucasian, Hispanic or Asian female, aged approximately between her mid-20s and 30s, and between her 5’3″ and 5’5″ height. became. Based on an examination, OCME ruled the death a homicide.
Anne Arundel County Police have learned that the Annapolis Police Department completed a missing persons report on November 1, 2017. The family reported Megan Leah Tillman, who was last contacted on September 26, 2017, is missing. Homicide investigators obtained a DNA sample of her from Ms. Tillman. Family members for testing/comparison with recovered remains. The Ann Arundel County Criminal Research Institute Forensic Services Section conducted an analysis and was able to positively identify the recovered human remains as those of Megan Leah Tillman.
Over the past several years, Ann Arundel County Police homicide investigators have followed up on numerous leads, examined a wide variety of evidence, and traveled around the country interviewing witnesses and persons of interest.
On January 19, 2022, homicide investigators secure arrest warrants for Christina Gale Harnish, 45, and Williams Eugene Rice, Jr., 46, in Tucson, Arizona, with the help of the Anne Arundel County State Attorney’s Office. I was able to. To take responsibility for the murder of Megan Tillman.
Both subjects were located and arrested on January 26, 2022 with the assistance of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department of Arizona. The suspect is awaiting extradition to Maryland.
The results of this investigation would not have been possible without the tenacity of the Ann Arundel County Homicide Division, the guidance of the Ann Arundel County State Attorney’s Office, the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the cooperation and support of Pima County. Sheriff Department.
Arrests have been made, but this is still a very aggressive homicide investigation. The Anne Arundel County Police Department is urging anyone with information to come forward by calling the Anne Arundel County Homicide Department at 410-222-4731. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous are asked to call the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line at 410-222-4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.
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