Spring Hill man charged in brother’s death
SPRING HILL – A day after Father’s Day, a dad found his son buried in the side yard, and the victim’s older brother has been charged in the slaying, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said.
At about 1:15 p.m. Monday, Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent said deputies were called to a Spring Hill home near Peoria Street, where Sean Eckard’s body was discovered.
Hernando sheriff’s deputies arrested the victim’s brother, Stanley Eckard, 21, at the family’s home Monday afternoon. Stanley Eckard was charged with murder Monday night and is being held at the Hernando County Jail with no bond.
Stanley Eckard admitted to investigators that he strangled his brother, the sheriff’s office said. After strangling him, Stanley Eckard then checked his brother’s heart beat “to confirm he was dead” and then buried him outside, the sheriff’s office said.
Stanley Eckard told investigators that he planned to move his brother’s body in a few weeks when his parents were going to be out of town, the sheriff’s office said.
“We’re still in the process of recovering the remains of his brother, Sean,” Nugent said during a news conference. “It’s just a bizarre case.”
Family members hadn’t seen Sean Eckard, 19, since Friday. Their mother, Donna Eckard, saw Stanley Eckard burying something at the side of the home at around 3 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff’s office said.
When his mother confronted him, he said he was burying items belonging to an old girlfriend, the sheriff’s office said.
At the urging of a relative, the father, Sam Eckard, began to dig in the area where Stanley Eckard was seen burying something. He found his son’s remains and the family called 911, the sheriff’s office said.