Ex-Coworker Accused of Murdering Missing Pa. Mom | NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Ex-Coworker Accused of Murdering Missing Pa. Mom

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    A former co-worker of the victim is now being charged for murdering a mother who disappeared nearly three years ago. NBC10’s Erin Coleman tells us about the big break in the case. (Published Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016)

    Nearly three years after a Pennsylvania mother went missing, a former coworker stands accused of killing her after one of several bones dug up in his yard matched her DNA.

    The Monroe County District Attorney's Office announced homicide charges Thursday against 49-year-old Michael Horvath in connection to the November 2013 disappearance of Holly Grim.

    Inside Horvath's home, investigators found "numerous videotapes and DVD's relating to murder, sexual deviance, and 'hunting humans,'" according to a probably cause affidavit obtained by NBC10. They also found several weapons, stun guns, and restraints, including handcuffs, leg shackles and sex toys.

    Grim was last seen the morning of Nov. 22, 2013 near her home at the Red Maples Mobile Home Park along Grange Road in Lower Macungie Township. Grim had driven her son to a bus stop and was then supposed to go to her job at Allen Organ in Macungie. The 41-year-old never showed up to work and her empty car was found in her driveway.

    Her last cellphone signals officials were able to track came from when Grim's mother, Jeanette Grim, attempted to call her the morning she disappeared. The series of three calls over eight minutes were intentionally declined as the phone moved in a northeasterly direction away from the victim's home, a criminal complaint obtained by NBC10 reported.

    A couple of weeks ago, state police began searching through the backyard and woods of Horvath's home along Woodhaven Drive in Ross Township, Monroe County. Authorities said Horvath and Grim worked the same shift at Allen Organ. Horvath, who was married at the time, left his job about four months after Grim’s disappearance. He had worked for the company for 21 years.

    Michael Horvath faces murder charges in the 2013 disappearance of Holly Ann Grim in rural Pennsylvania.
    Photo credit: Monroe County District Attorney's Office

    Investigators said Horvath was initially interviewed about the disappearance because he was late for work the morning Grim disappeared. He told officials he got a flat tire on his way to work and had gone home to repair it, adding that he didn't want to lose a day of work with deer hunting season on the horizon, the criminal complaint said.

    He was again interviewed in June 2014 and provided investigators with a DNA sample. At the time, Horvath admitted to knowing Grim, but not well, and had been to her residence on at least two occasions to help her get a washer and dryer into her home. His DNA matched a bloodstain found outside her home at the time of her disappearance, investigators said.

    A search warrant was issued on Sept. 27, 2015, allowing investigators to dig up Horvath's yard and search his home. The dig unearthed a rib bone that matched Grim's DNA, the district attorney's office said. 

    The Monroe County Coroner's Office declared Grim's death a homicide.

    Police arrested Horvath on Oct. 13 on criminal homicide, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse charges, according to court records. He remained jailed without bond. Horvath's attorney didn't immediately respond to NBC10's request for comment.

    At a news conference Thursday morning, officials and police sent their condolences to Grim's family and praised investigators for bringing a resolution to the case.

    They didn't reveal the exact nature of the relationship between Horvath and Grim outside of the two being coworkers.