GUILTY NY - Michaela MacVilla, 21, Canajoharie, 25 September 2018 *Arrest*

GraceG

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What are some reasons LE would not give out manner of death yet? Are there any reasons besides perhaps still waiting for some toxicology tests?
Yes, in such cases tox screens are always done. However, unlike TV forensics where the specimens are gathered in minutes and results take hours, in real life the collection and analysis take MUCH longer.

Standardized procedures are followed for gathering samples at the scene of a death to ensure reliable analysis. Then the medical examiner/pathologist will take further samples at autopsy. All specimens, which may include urine, blood, hair, bone or organ tissue samples, are handled in a documented chain-of-custody fashion. Blood may be taken from the femoral leg vein or heart and is often preserved with sodium fluoride. Tissue and fluid samples may be collected from the brain, liver, kidney, vitreous humor (clear jelly from inside the eye), cerebrospinal fluid, bile, and gastric (stomach) contents.

All of the procedures and analyses are conducted for medico-legal purposes under exacting science procedures and legally defensible standards, which includes initial AND confirmatory testing. This is because the results may be used in a court of law.

Typical drugs and substances and that may undergo toxicology screening for a forensic toxicology report includes prescription drugs (e.g., benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, amphetamines), over-the-counter substances (e.g., acetaminophen or ibuprofen), volatiles (e.g., chloroform, ethanol [alcohol], acetone, isopropanol, methanol and toluene), illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine, heroin, marijuana, PCP, methamphetamine), and drug metabolites (break-down products of drugs)

The testing is done at a lab with board-certified forensic chemists and multiple test runs may be conducted. Testing may involve immunoassay, gas chromatography, or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). (Unlike TV where someone just looks through a microscope and says “we have a suspect!”)

Additionally, once toxicology results are available, there is an internal review process for quality control, and board-certified pathologists and toxicologists may be consulted. The final toxicology report may include field evidence at the scene of the crime or the possibility of fatal drug interactions. Overall the process can take up to six weeks or longer.
 

Tripod

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Yes, in such cases tox screens are always done. However, unlike TV forensics where the specimens are gathered in minutes and results take hours, in real life the collection and analysis take MUCH longer.

Standardized procedures are followed for gathering samples at the scene of a death to ensure reliable analysis. Then the medical examiner/pathologist will take further samples at autopsy. All specimens, which may include urine, blood, hair, bone or organ tissue samples, are handled in a documented chain-of-custody fashion. Blood may be taken from the femoral leg vein or heart and is often preserved with sodium fluoride. Tissue and fluid samples may be collected from the brain, liver, kidney, vitreous humor (clear jelly from inside the eye), cerebrospinal fluid, bile, and gastric (stomach) contents.

All of the procedures and analyses are conducted for medico-legal purposes under exacting science procedures and legally defensible standards, which includes initial AND confirmatory testing. This is because the results may be used in a court of law.

Typical drugs and substances and that may undergo toxicology screening for a forensic toxicology report includes prescription drugs (e.g., benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, amphetamines), over-the-counter substances (e.g., acetaminophen or ibuprofen), volatiles (e.g., chloroform, ethanol [alcohol], acetone, isopropanol, methanol and toluene), illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine, heroin, marijuana, PCP, methamphetamine), and drug metabolites (break-down products of drugs)

The testing is done at a lab with board-certified forensic chemists and multiple test runs may be conducted. Testing may involve immunoassay, gas chromatography, or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). (Unlike TV where someone just looks through a microscope and says “we have a suspect!”)

Additionally, once toxicology results are available, there is an internal review process for quality control, and board-certified pathologists and toxicologists may be consulted. The final toxicology report may include field evidence at the scene of the crime or the possibility of fatal drug interactions. Overall the process can take up to six weeks or longer.
Thank you for all those details, GraceG. I'm sure there are many labs around the country with a backlog of cases for testing, as well.

I'm mostly curious due to one aspect in particular, here. Michaela's family ( gleaned from various media interviews/articles) appears to believe homicide, but LE has not clarified that at all, to my knowledge. Why would LE perhaps tell the family that, but not the public? I'm aware LE will tell family some things that aren't publicly known, but they also can and do keep certain things held closely when necessary. It just seems unusual to me, in this particular case. IMO only.
 

rainynights

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Attorney: Weapons defendant submits DNA in Michaela MacVilla investigation
The man arrested in the midst of the Michaela MacVilla search on unrelated weapons charges has voluntarily submitted a DNA sample to investigators looking into her death, the man's attorney said.

Investigators have not said what they believe caused her death and a spokeswoman last week offered no updates.

Brian Toal, Nellis' attorney, said late last week, as far as he's concerned, his client will be shown to have nothing to do with MacVilla's disappearance and death.

He said he believes the connection referenced by state police to the MacVilla investigation relates to his client's name being offered by someone as the search continued.

MacVilla family members, meanwhile, remain frustrated and anxious to have justice served. They're also grateful for the efforts of investigators, MacVilla's aunt Cora Murray said Sunday.
 

Jilllian

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Nellis "voluntarily" submitted DNA, but wouldn't LE have gotten a subpoena for it anyway? Then maybe at that point he decided to give it up? Seems like if he wanted to volunteer it, he would have done so when he was arrested on the weapons charge.
 

Tripod

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Nellis "voluntarily" submitted DNA, but wouldn't LE have gotten a subpoena for it anyway? Then maybe at that point he decided to give it up? Seems like if he wanted to volunteer it, he would have done so when he was arrested on the weapons charge.
I guess LE didn't ask for his DNA at the point of arrest because Michaela's remains hadn't been found just yet, and Nellis may have said very little, not knowing for sure if they were looking at him for more than just the gun charge. They probably would have gotten a subpoena for his DNA if needed, but it always looks better for a person of interest, if he is, to give it voluntarily, I suppose. His lawyer sounded confident, didn't he?
 

Jilllian

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I guess LE didn't ask for his DNA at the point of arrest because Michaela's remains hadn't been found just yet, and Nellis may have said very little, not knowing for sure if they were looking at him for more than just the gun charge. They probably would have gotten a subpoena for his DNA if needed, but it always looks better for a person of interest, if he is, to give it voluntarily, I suppose. His lawyer sounded confident, didn't he?

He sure did. I met a close family member through happenstance - very gruesome what happened to her, and I hope the police are quietly building a very strong case against the person/persons responsible.
 

Niner

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In the article above next court hearing is 1/22/19.
 

YESorNO

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Michaela MacVilla's Family Reacts to Indictment of Oppenheim Man

November 15, 2018

"It has been more than six weeks since the search for 21-year-old Michaela Macvilla came to a devastating end. While the seasons have changed, the call for her justice has not.

“Nothing about this has been easy; absolutely nothing," said Cora Murray, MacVilla's aunt.

MacVilla's family learned of the arrest made in her death Thursday morning. ...

While MacVilla's aunt and grandmother says this arrest brings closure, the heartache will continue throughout this holiday season with an empty seat at the table. ...

Nellis was arraigned Thursday on the indictment, charging him with second degree murder and three charges of criminal possession of a weapon. Nellis was remanded to the Fulton County Correctional Facility without bail.

Michaela MacVilla's Family Reacts to Indictment of Oppenheim Man
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Melissa Steininger‏ @melissasteinTV Nov 15
As Police hold a presser on the arrest in the murder of Michaela Macvilla, her family tells me they feel some closure. Her grandma and aunt say the heartache grows stronger as the holidays begin.

(video clip: Melissa Steininger on Twitter ) :(

ZimojYhC

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Niner

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Tuesday, January 22nd:
*Preliminary Hearing (@ ET) - NY – Michaela MacVilla (21) (Sept. 25, 2018, Canajoharie; found Oct. 2, 2018) – *Daniel A. Nellis, Sr. (45) arrested (9/30/18) & indicted (11/15/18) with 2nd degree murder & 3 counts of 1st degree felony weapons possession. Plead not guilty. Held without bail.
During the search (9/30/18) investigators arrested Nellis on felony weapons counts. While State police have said the charges are unrelated to the MacVilla investigation, the investigation into her disappearance resulted in the Nellis charges. Troopers arrested him Sept. 30, two days before her body was found. If convicted of the murder charge, Nellis would face up to 25 years to life in state prison; if convicted of the first-degree weapons possession count, he would face up to 25 years in state prison.
11/15/18 Update: Grand jury indicted Nellis on 2nd degree murder & 3 counts felony weapons possession. Plead not guilty. Next hearing on 1/22/19.
 

YESorNO

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Murder suspect court date moved

JAN 23, 2019

"ST. JOHNSVILLE — The man who was arrested and indicted on murder and weapon charges for the death of Michaela MacVilla was scheduled to appear in Fulton County Court on Tuesday had his case adjourned to Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. at Fulton County Court.

In November, Daniel A. Nellis Sr., 45, of Oppenheim was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree criminal possession and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon...."

Murder suspect court date moved | News, Sports, Jobs - Leader Herald

5bb67ed510fdc-cv1.jpg

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Tripod

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Murder suspect court date moved

JAN 23, 2019

"ST. JOHNSVILLE — The man who was arrested and indicted on murder and weapon charges for the death of Michaela MacVilla was scheduled to appear in Fulton County Court on Tuesday had his case adjourned to Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. at Fulton County Court.

In November, Daniel A. Nellis Sr., 45, of Oppenheim was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree criminal possession and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon...."

Murder suspect court date moved | News, Sports, Jobs - Leader Herald

5bb67ed510fdc-cv1.jpg

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Thanks for posting!
 

Niner

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Friday, Feb. 15th:
*Preliminary Hearing (@ 9am ET) - NY – Michaela MacVilla (21) (Sept. 25, 2018, Canajoharie; found Oct. 2, 2018 in Oppenheim) – *Daniel A. Nellis, Sr. (45) arrested (9/30/18) & indicted & arraigned (11/15/18) with 2nd degree murder & 2 counts of 1st degree felony weapons possession. Plead not guilty. Held without bail.
During the search (9/30/18) investigators arrested Nellis on felony weapons counts. While State police have said the charges are unrelated to the MacVilla investigation, the investigation into her disappearance resulted in the Nellis charges. Troopers arrested him Sept. 30, two days before her body was found. If convicted of the murder charge, Nellis would face up to 25 years to life in state prison; if convicted of the first-degree weapons possession count, he would face up to 25 years in state prison.
11/15/18 Update: Grand jury indicted Nellis on 2nd degree murder & 3 counts felony weapons possession. Plead not guilty. Next hearing on 1/22/19.
1/22/19 Update: Hearing continued to 2/15.
 
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