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Daniel Stearns arrested after human remains of Nancy Howery were found in a wooded area in Palm Bay, Florida

Stearns burned her body and buried her remains in different places.



The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday that they have arrested a 32-year-old Palm Bay resident, Daniel Stearns, in connection with the disappearance of a 44-year-old woman from Indian Harbour Beach.

According to investigators, Stearns was taken into custody after human remains were found in a densely wooded area in Palm Bay.

Authorities believe the remains belong to Nancy Howery, who was reported missing to the Indian Harbour Beach Police Department on February 18.

Following the discovery of evidence that suggested Howery may have been the victim of foul play, the Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation since the incident occurred in its jurisdiction.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, a 44-year-old woman from Indian Harbour Beach who went missing has been found dead, and a 32-year-old man named Daniel Stearns from Palm Bay has been arrested in connection with her murder.

Detectives identified Stearns as a suspect in the disappearance and conducted surveillance on him.

On Thursday, detectives followed Stearns to an undeveloped, wooded area in Palm Bay known as The Compound, where they saw him trying to dispose of evidence, leading to his detention.

Human remains were later discovered in several areas that were searched.

While the remains are believed to be those of the missing woman, further forensic testing is needed to confirm this.

Investigators say Stearns and the victim had been in a relationship and had an argument on Feb. 15, after which he fatally shot her.

Over the next few days, Stearns burned her body and buried her remains in different places.

After a judge signed an arrest warrant, Stearns was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with second-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and mutilation of a dead body.

He is currently being held without bail at the Brevard County Jail.

If anyone has any information about Howery’s death, they are encouraged to call Brevard County Agent Tyler Peterson at 321-633-8400.