Palmer Lake residents and other concerned citizens gather for a candlelight vigil for murder victim Nancy Gardner-Edwards last month. Photo by Hugh McMillan, KP News

On June 30, Lakebay resident William Grisso reported his girlfriend, Nancy Gardner-Edwards, missing.

On July 10, Grisso, 41, was charged with her murder.

The following night, Key Peninsula residents gathered at Palmer Lake for a candlelight vigil in memory of Gardner-Edwards, described by her friends as bubbly and kind, and a die-hard Pittsburg Steelers fan.

Her body was found a few days later in Belfair, according to Ed Troyer, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s deputies believe Grisso shot Gardner-Edwards then dumped her body in Mason County.

Evidence pointed to Grisso as the primary suspect because the statements he made to police didn’t make sense, Troyer said.

Grisso had told police that he found Gardner-Edwards’ cell phone, wallet and keys in their house, but that Gardner-Edwards and her gun were missing.

Detectives, however, noticed what appeared to be blood on Grisso’s shoes, and later found blood and Gardner-Edwards’ gun in his car.

By tracing the coordinates of several photos of flowers taken on her cell phone, investigators went to the location where the photos had been taken, where they found her body.

According to Troyer, Grisso couldn’t explain how Gardner-Edwards’ phone could have taken the photos in Belfair, because he had earlier told police that the phone was in his house that day.

In addition, neighbors had reported hearing the couple arguing just before Gardner-Edwards went missing.

Also, Gardner-Edwards’ friends told police they were suspicious of Grisso because he had been taking down missing persons posters they’d posted around the region.

Court documents allege that, in addition to Gardner-Edwards, Grisso was dating at least one other woman and that he had recently filed for divorce from his wife of three years.

The wife had been granted a temporary restraining order because she said he has wild mood swings, carries a gun and had threatened her.

Grisso is being held in the Pierce County jail on $3 million bail.

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