Fulton County

Michaela MacVilla family on murder indictment: ‘Immediate relief’

Family learned of the indictment Thursday from the District Attorney
Daniel A. Nellis, Sr.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Daniel A. Nellis, Sr.

ST. JOHNSVILLE — Michaela MacVilla’s relatives expressed “immediate relief” Thursday, after learning charges had been filed in connection with herdeath.

Cora Murray, MacVilla’s aunt, said Thursday afternoon that she was informed of the indictment against Daniel A. Nellis Sr. in a call from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office earlier Thursday.

Nellis, 45, now faces one count of second-degree murder, which accuses him of shooting and killing MacVilla in Oppenheim in late September.  

“Immediate relief,” Murray said of her reaction to the news. “Knowing  that the St. Johnsville community at large is safe … it’s a huge sigh of relief.”

MacVilla was last seen alive leaving a Stewart’s Shop on West Main Street in St. Johnsville at about 12:10 a.m. on Sept. 25. She was found dead on Oct. 2 in heavy brush on a property in Oppenheim, state police have said.

Nellis was arraigned Thursday morning and ordered held without bail.

Also Today: Michaela MacVilla murdered; Man charged, Nov. 15, 2018

Murray said relatives knew the grand jury was meeting in the case but had not heard the results until the call.

Beyond the relief at the indictment, Murray expressed gratitude to all the investigators who worked on the case.

“We’re so grateful that law enforcement feels the right person is in custody,” Murray said.

MacVilla has been recalled by family as a free spirit who loved her family; Murray said MacVilla would frequently visit her and her children, she said. 

As for Nellis, Murray did not know him, and she did not know if MacVilla knew him. She could only speculate that they might have crossed paths through MacVilla’s work as a Stewart’s clerk.

“We’re incredibly thankful to everyone who worked so tirelessly,” Murray said.

Also Today: Michaela MacVilla murdered; Man charged, Nov. 15, 2018

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