COLEBROOK — Police on Friday the 13th arrested a fourth person and charged him, along with a daughter of the late Eddie Nash, with digging up the businessman’s remains in what Police Chief Stephen Cass said was a misguided search for a non-existent will.
Nash, who founded Nash Equipment, died at the age of 68 on Dec. 4, 2004. He was buried in a metal casket, which was placed inside a concrete vault in Colebrook Village Cemetery.
On May 12, police went to the cemetery and found someone smashed the lid, removed the coffin and disturbed Nash’s body, Cass said Tuesday, allegedly while looking for a will that would benefit his youngest daughter, Melanie Nash.
Cass said Melanie Nash, 52, of Beecher Falls, Vt., surrendered to police June 10 and was charged with interference with a cemetery, a Class B felony punishable by 3½ to seven years and a fine up to $2,000.
Cass said she was released on $7,500 cash bond and is scheduled to appear in Coos County Superior Court on July 10 for a probable-cause hearing.
Earlier on June 10, police arrested Michael Day, 37, of Columbia, and Ginette B. Dowse, 71, of Beecher Falls, and charged Day with interference with a cemetery and criminal mischief, while Dowse was charged with conspiracy to commit interference with a cemetery for allegedly transporting Day and another person to Colebrook Village Cemetery.
Day is being held on $5,000 cash bail at the Coos County jail pending arraignment on June 19 while Dowse posted a $1,000 cash bond and is scheduled to appear in court on July 10.
On June 13, David Grey, 53, formerly of Colebrook, was arrested on a charge of interfering with a cemetery. He was released after posting a $2,500 cash bond and will be arraigned on July 31.
With Grey’s arrest, Cass said his department’s investigation appears to be at an end.
“Everybody knew Eddie. He was definitely part of the community for sure,” said Cass, adding that what happened at Colebrook Village Cemetery was terrible because, “it’s a small community and everybody has a family member in it.”
The crime has shocked the residents of Colebrook, Cass continued, “and it comes down to greed and that’s the horrible thing.”
Based on his department’s investigation, Cass believes that “It all came down to the fact that there was a definite misunderstanding of how things work in regards to estates.”
“From what we’re gathering, the main reason for digging up Mr. Nash was that Melanie in particular was looking for the ‘real will’ and she was not successful because there was no real will, just Mr. Nash’s personal effects, pictures and such,” said Cass. “She feels that she was left out of the will. I don’t have an idea if there ever was a will; I don’t believe there was one.”
The chief added that all four people arrested were acquaintances and that it appears that “nobody was paid in any way” to participate in a crime.