About eight years since a 27-year-old Newberry woman went missing, investigators have charged her former boyfriend with her murder.
On Dec. 8, 2008, Heather Ann MacCrossen was reported missing to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office after last being seen in August the same year.
She is presumed dead.
On Wednesday, law enforcement agents charged MacCrossen’s ex-boyfriend, 39-year-old Andrelo Larashard Witcher, with manslaughter after visiting him at the Walton Correctional Institute in De Funiak Springs, Florida.
Witcher, who is currently completing a five-year prison sentence for a 2012 burglary conviction from Suwannee County, had been scheduled to be released in December, but now he will be arraigned May 15.
Witcher and MacCrossen were involved in a long-term relationship plagued by violence, abuse and arrests.
On July 23, 2007, Witcher threatened MacCrossen with a gun before punching her in the face and broke her eye socket, according to a police report filed by the Suwanee County Sheriff’s Office.
MacCrossen suffered a broken rib, two black eyes and several bruises throughout her body, according to the report.
Witcher then kidnapped MacCrossen and held her hostage in a Lake City home for about two days before she escaped, according to the report.
The next day, she boarded a Greyhound bus to visit some family in Michigan. She returned to Florida about three weeks later, initially planning to be picked up at a bus stop by her close friend in Lake City.
But instead, MacCrossen continued to Gainesville, where she met with Witcher on Aug. 18, 2007 – never to be heard from again.
The investigation into her disappearance has been a large production, involving assistance from several city, county and state law enforcement agencies from Florida and Michigan.
Sheriff’s deputies from Alachua, Brevard, Clay, Jacksonville and Suwannee counties contributed to the investigation.
Witcher’s case will be prosecuted by Designated Assistant State Attorney Cass M. Castillo, from the office of the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jeffrey Siegmeister.