OPPENHEIM — The investigation into the disappearance of Michaela MacVilla has led to the arrest of an Oppenheim man on an unrelated weapons count, state police said Thursday.
MacVilla, 21, was found dead Tuesday in heavy brush on a property in Oppenheim, state police have said. The property’s owner discovered her body.
She was last seen alive leaving the Stewart’s Shop on West Main Street in St. Johnsville, at about 12:10 a.m. on Sept. 25. Investigators have not said what they believe caused her death.
State police also did not indicate how their investigation brought them to Daniel A. Nellis Sr., 45, of Oppenheim, or what connection, if any, he may have to MacVilla. But he now faces one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and a violation count of unlawful possession of marijuana. His bail for that misdemeanor was set at $25,000, the state police release reads.
Also see: State Police: Michaela MacVilla found dead, criminal investigation launched, Oct. 3, 2018
Nellis is accused of being “in possession of firearms he could not legally possess,” according to a state police report. State police charged him on Sunday, two days before MacVilla’s body was found.
While noting the connection to the MacVilla disappearance investigation, the release also notes “these charges are unrelated to the MacVilla investigation.”
The release also does not detail what weapons Nellis allegedly possessed or why he was not capable of legally possessing them. However, the section of law under which Nellis is charged indicates he is accused of possessing a firearm and has been previously convicted of a felony or serious offense.
Newspaper and state prison records show Nellis has been to state prison once before, in 2000, for a crack cocaine sale conviction.