Man charged with girlfriend's murder; photos of flowers led to body

TACOMA, Wash. -- A 41-year-old man has been charged with murder after photos of flowers taken on his missing girlfriend's cellphone led detectives to her body, according to charges filed Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, William Grisso told the Sheriff's Office his girlfriend Nancy Gardner was not home when he returned from running errands around 3 p.m. June 30. He reportedly spent the next three hours driving around Lakebay looking for her before reporting her missing.

Grisso told the Sheriff's Office Gardner's keys, wallet and cellphone were still at the house, but her gun was no longer in its case, according to the charging documents. In addition, he said the last time he had talked to her, Gardner had complained about a headache and told him to contact her family if anything happened to her.

According to the charging documents, officers interviewing Grisso noticed blood on his shoe, which he said came from a cat he kicked to keep out of his house a week earlier. Officers met with Grisso again days later, this time reportedly finding more blood and the missing gun inside his car.

Detectives used Gardner's cellphone to start knocking holes in Grisso's alibi. According to the charging documents, the phone was used to take three pictures of flowers in Belfair at the time Grisso was reportedly searching for Gardner in Lakebay.

Detectives went to the location where the photos were taken and found Gardner's body. Due to the condition of the body, a cause of death was not established.

According to the charging documents, Grisso had no explanation for the flower photos, telling detectives the cellphone had been left in the house while he searched for Gardner.

Another of Grisso's girlfriends reportedly told detectives she had received a phone call around the time Grisso was reportedly searching for Gardner. She said he told her he was getting ready to play a gig in Silverdale with his band.

According to the charging documents, neighbors heard Grisso and Gardner fighting the day before she was reported missing. They told detectives Grisso had been telling her to the leave the house and she was refusing.

Grisso was arrested Wednesday, the same day he posted a photo of Gardner to his Facebook page, asking people to look for her.