Suspect in Dover double homicide arrested in KY

John and Nancy Engelhart, family photo

DOVER, Fla. (WFLA) – The man suspected of killing a Dover couple was arrested Friday afternoon in Hazard, Kentucky.

An arrest warrant was issued for Michael Anthony Herald, 48, Friday morning.

He is suspected in the murders of Nancy Engelhart, 73, and John Engelhart, 76, of 10075 McIntosh Rd. in Dover. Herald was arrested in Hazard by Kentucky State Police as he was driving out of a county park in the victims’ Ford Explorer.  He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Hillsborough County deputies responded to the couple’s home around 7 p.m. Thursday to conduct a welfare check on the couple after a neighbor called saying they had not seen the couple in awhile.

John and Nancy Engelhart, family photo
John and Nancy Engelhart, family photo

The caller said the couple had not been seen in a few days. Their mail was stacked up on top of their mailbox and their car was missing from the carport.

Detectives found the couple’s bodies inside a shed on the property. Sheriff David Gee said the victims likely died earlier this week.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the home and then issued an arrest warrant for Herald, who had been hired by the couple as a handyman.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay offered a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the location and arrest of Michael Anthony Herald.

Suspect located in Kentucky 

Jody Sims with the Kentucky State Police said they received word the suspect may be in his state.

“One of the troopers just so happened to make a turn to go back in another direction and looked over and this vehicle was actually at a stoplight on a bridge,” Sims said.

The suspect surrendered near a high school. “There was no incident . He didn’t attempt to flee or evade. There was no physical altercation. He complied with all their requests and everything went smoothly,” Sims said. “If they’re capable of doing something like that once then there’s a chance they could do it again, so want to try to locate them as soon as possible.”

Double murder suspect Michael Anthony Herald.
Double murder suspect Michael Anthony Herald.
Nancy Engelhart, Hillsborough County School District photo
Nancy Engelhart, Hillsborough County School District photo

Hillsborough deputies are flying to Kentucky to interview the suspect.

The sheriff says it’s not typically a crime-ridden area of Hillsborough County.

“It’s a great area,” Sheriff David Gee said. “A lot of longtime residents in this area, and I’m sure it’s gonna be shocking to some of the people out here. But hopefully we’ll be able to determine what the facts are around it and get some justice for them pretty quickly.

Friends, neighbors talk about victims

Jeffrey Martin showed up at the couple’s home Friday in shock. “Very, very heartbreaking, you know for someone to do something like that,” Martin said.

He’d been trying to reach the victims. Martin takes care of the couple’s lawn.

“I’ve been doing their lawn for about two years, maybe, and it’s just very hurtful just to know this. I called them last night to let them know that I’d be over this morning,” he said.

Linda Smith has lived next to the Engelharts for decades. She said Nancy loved teaching at Hillsborough High. She was there for 30 years.

Both John and Nancy were retired.

Double murder suspect Michael Anthony Herald.
Double murder suspect Michael Anthony Herald.

“I’m in shock. I was telling everybody it was OK, that they were ok, that they were just busy and that you know, maybe he had gone back in the hospital,” Smith said.

Joni Haasch said Nancy enjoyed animals. Cows were like pets to her, the neighbor said. Nancy even named her eight cows.

“With all this, when I found out last night, I didn’t sleep. I cried all night long,” she said. “I know that heaven got two angels and I know that going together was a blessing for them cuz neither one of them could have lived without the other.”

“It’s just so upsetting to lose such special people,” Haasch said.

Neighbor Shawn McIntosh knew Herald as a family friend.

“Mike is the son of one of my dad’s best friend’s from Kentucky and he stayed here in 2004,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh said he kicked Herald out because of issues with his girlfriend in 2004. He said he didn’t see him again until recently.

McIntosh spoke to the suspect Monday when he asked about buying a car.

“He wanted to purchase a vehicle from me and didn’t have enough money, asked me if he could give me half and he would go work for them and I’d hold the vehicle.  And in a week, he’d have the rest,” he told News Channel 8.

But Herald disappeared the next day.


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