59-year-old William Hurst was arrested this week in Kentucky, charged with first-degree murder in Pasco County. He awaits extradition to Florida to face the charges. He is accused of killing his wife Amy Rose Hurst. None of that is altogether unusual.
What is unusual about the case is that the alleged homicide occurred in 1982. And authorities were not even aware that Amy Rose Hurst had been killed until this summer – 29 years later.
Back in September, 1982, however, authorities were alerted to a dead body floating in the ocean off of Anna Maria Island. The woman’s body was wrapped in a bedspread and afghan, tied around the waist with a rope which was attached to a concrete block. The then-unidentified woman had died of blunt force trauma to the head.
The Hursts had been living in New Port Richey, having moved away from family, including Amy Rose Hurst’s young children, in Michigan. William Hurst told her family that she had left him and he didn’t know where she was. They were never able to locate her.
One of Amy’s children, now 39, began recently searching for information about his mother on the internet. He came across a missing persons website that detailed the unidentified Anna Maria Island body. He recognized the bedspread and afghan. DNA tests later reportedly confirmed that the body was Amy Rose Hurst.
Amy Rose Hurst’s son now says that Hurst told Kentucky investigators he fought with his wife when she slipped and hit her head and that he kept her body for three days before throwing her in the sea.
No additional details have been released by authorities. Depending on the available evidence, this may be a difficult case for prosecutors. The passage of time can be devastating to a witness’s memory (or even availability). The storage of physical evidence in a 30-year-old case must also be examined. We are curious to see what additional evidence (if any) the State has to support the charges in this case.