A Colorado man was charged Wednesday with the first-degree murder of a woman whose body was found March 3 in a retention pond on the southeast corner of North Platte.
The man, William H. Stanback, is in custody at the Lincoln County jail, also charged with use of a weapon to commit the felony and two lesser charges — driving without a license and possession of a weapon by a prohibited person.
North Platte Police Chief Dan Hudson said the woman was evidently shot more than once.
The body was found March 3. Police announced the identity of the victim eight days later — Kimberly Ermi, 42, of Greeley, Colo.
Police believe that Stanback and Ermi had known each other about a year and half and became engaged in February. Hudson said he is pleased that the investigators were able to identify a suspect, after the case began with an unidentified woman with few identifying marks, floating in a pond a mile or so from two major highways in the middle of Nebraska.
Neither person had any connection whatsoever to North Platte or Lincoln County, Hudson said.
For several days, investigators could not match the victim with any missing person reports.
Police caught a break in the investigation when Ermi’s parents, who were vacationing in Florida at the time, contacted the Gothenburg police, looking for their daughter’s whereabouts. They had reportedly received information that she disappeared in that area.
That led to the identification of Ermi’s body. And, the suspect’s vehicle was found at the Brady I-80 rest area.
Although Ermi was the prime suspect, he remained at large until Tuesday, when a Nebraska state trooper pulled his car over and found he was driving without a license. He was also carrying a weapon and is a convicted felon, charges that are unrelated to Ermi’s death. When he got to the Lincoln County jail, he was charged with murder.
Later, Stanback’s bond was set at $5 million.
Police are seeking more information from anyone who many have seen the couple in Nebraska, especially in the areas of Gothenburg, Brady and North Platte. Hudson said the case against Stanback is solid, but more information could fill in gaps about what exactly happened.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or any similar incidents are encouraged to call the North Platte Police Department 308-535-6789. Anonymous information can be given by calling 534-8400 or online at www.lincolncountycrimstoppers.com