The Palmetto Police Department announced Monday afternoon that the body of the 47-year-old woman allegedly killed by her daughter’s boyfriend apparently has been found in Levy County.
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office had been assisting the Palmetto Police Department since Saturday in locating Tricia Freeman’s remains, according to Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler.
Palmetto police detectives and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Task Force members were at the scene Monday in Levy County, according to Tyler.
Freeman was last seen by a friend around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
When family members reported Freeman missing Wednesday night, they noted it was unusual that she could not be reached. What gave officials additional concern were the unattended small dogs that Freeman raised in the home.
Tyler said in a press conference Sunday the dogs “were her world.” The dogs were removed from the home Friday.
The boyfriend of Freeman’s daughter, Roy Nichols Jr., went to Freeman’s house by himself on Thursday, and she said something to “set him off,” Tyler said.
Authorities say he confessed to killing Freeman, then he and Freeman’s daughter, Kayla Colyer, fled north in Freeman’s green 2016 Chevrolet Sonic, with her body in the trunk, possibly dumping it in Levy County. Freeman’s car was spotted in Ashland, Ky., and the pair were scene at a truck stop in West Virginia Saturday, more than 900 miles from Palmetto.
Freeman had a “challenging” relationship with her daughter, according to Tyler. She didn’t have other family members in Palmetto, though her daughter lived with her on and off.
Nichols Jr. faces a second-degree murder charge; Colyer faces a charge of accessory to murder after the fact. Tyler expects them to be extradited to Manatee County in the next few days.
Tyler said Nichols Jr. has a criminal history but “nothing of this magnitude.”
By Monday afternoon, the crime scene tape was gone, but the door and windows of Freeman’s home in the 1900 block of 11th Street West in Palmetto were taped shut. Signs reading “Private Property” and “Beware of the Dog” were hanging around the home and fence.
Neighbors said the community where Freeman lived was quiet and most people kept to themselves, and they never heard of anything like this happening before.
Robert Kronk, who said Freeman was his mother’s neighbor at one time, said he is planning a vigil to honor Freeman Tuesday night.
Kronk said his sister is friends with Colyer, and the family is “disturbed” and “overwhelmed” with what happened.
“I just hope Trish didn’t suffer,” Kronk said.
The vigil is set to begin around 6:30 and will be held in front of Freeman’s home on 11th Street West.