Slow justice for murder victim's family in southern Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) More than a year and a half after the murder of their son, a southern Utah family is finally getting justice.

Two weeks after gaining full custody of his then 6-year-old daughter, David Heisler was beaten and taken from his Santa Clara home in the summer of 2016. His body was found two months later in a remote area of Arizona, just across the Utah border.

"It's so hard, we aren't done grieving," Debbie Heisler said, David's step-mother. 

Three people were arrested for felony kidnapping and later charged with murder: the mother of David's child, Kelley Perry, and her roommates Frank McCard and Tammy Freeman. 

The case involving two states and federal indictments has progressed slowly, in part, to postponed hearings by Perry.

"It makes it that much harder to find peace sometimes," Debbie said. 

McCard accepted a plea deal for 2nd degree murder and is expected to be sentenced in July. 

After more than a year of preparation, Freeman's jury trial was canceled this week. She's expected to take a plea deal on Tuesday. 

"You never stop grieving but you find some kind of healing. I think as these come through, whatever the case may be on each one of them, we can hopefully feel some of that," Debbie said. 

The federal government has not indicted David's ex-girlfriend for her alleged roll in the murder. Another preliminary hearing is scheduled for early April.

David's family is setting up a non-profit that will provide visitation centers for children and their non-custodial parents. 

Blue Butterfly House is expected to open in a few months. 

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center