Oil City Man Charged in Bike Trail Homicide of Nellis Held for Court

| May 19, 2023

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – The case against an Oil City man charged with the bike trail homicide of Marcy Suzette Nellis moved forward in court on Thursday.

According to court documents, 60-year-old David Allen Bosley was held for court during a preliminary hearing on Thursday, May 18, in Venango County Central Court.

The following charges were transferred to the Venango County Court of Common Pleas:

  • Criminal Homicide, Felony 1
  • Rape Forcible Compulsion, Felony 1
  • Kidnapping to Facilitate a Felony, Felony 1
  • Kidnapping to Inflict Injury/Terror, Felony 1
  • Aggravated Indecent Assault – Forcible Compulsion, Felony 2
  • Abuse of a Corpse, Misdemeanor 2

Bosley remains lodged in the Venango County Jail with bail denied.

He was denied bail by President Judge Marie T. Veon, who prosecuted Bosley in the past as the Venango County District Attorney, according to court records obtained by exploreVenango.com.

Details of the case:

According to the criminal complaint filed against Bosley, on or about March 26, 2023, Officers from the Oil City Police Department received a report of a missing 76-year-old female in the area of West First Street in the City of Oil City.

Through the investigation, Officers from the Oil City Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the Oil City Fire Department, and other first responders began a search for the missing woman identified as Marcy Suzette Nellis. The search efforts continued until the morning hours of March 27, 2023, the complaint states.

(Marcy Suzette Nellis, 76, of Oil City.)

On March 27, 2023, with the assistance of the Aviation Unit from the Pennsylvania State Police, Nellis was located in a wooded area along the bike trail and Allegheny River area. She was found deceased. At the scene, officers from the Oil City Police Department and Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police instituted a joint investigation into the death of Nellis, the complaint notes.

Through the investigation, investigators collected items of possible evidence and video surveillance footage. They also canvassed neighborhoods and conducted interviews with persons who were on or in the area of the bike trail on March 26, 2023, to collect further information surrounding the death of Nellis, the complaint indicates.

Other evidence included photographs that the police took of footprints and apparent “drag” marks at the crime scene. Additional photographs included areas of dense brush and debris along the hillside leading to the Allegheny River where Nellis was subsequently located, the complaint states.

On March 29, 2023, two officers of the Oil City Police Department attended Nellis’ autopsy. Based on the autopsy and investigation, the incident was upgraded to a homicide, according to the complaint.

The Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the manner of death as a homicide while the cause of death was ruled to be asphyxiation due to strangulation.

At the autopsy, further evidence was collected, including swabs for DNA from the neck area where injuries to the victim were observed, other bodily fluids from the body of the victim, and clothing. Photographs of marks and injuries sustained during the alleged attack were also cataloged.

Additionally, a sexual assault examination kit was collected.

Through the course of the investigation, as well as information provided by witnesses who were walking on or in the area of the bike trail on the day of the incident, officers were able to identify a suspect as David Allen Bosley, the complaint indicates.

(Pictured above: Personnel from the Oil City Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Troopers investigating at the home of Davis Allen Bosley on West 1st Street, Oil City.)

On one occasion, investigators stopped at Bosley’s residence while canvassing the area. He resides within walking distance of the crime scene and where the victim’s body was discovered. While having contact with Bosley, he advised personnel on the date of the incident that he went fishing at or about the approximate time the victim was last seen, according to the complaint.

Based on the description from witnesses and the statement by Bosley, officers conducted an interview on April 3, 2023, with Bosley regarding the incident, the complaint states.

Throughout the interview, Bosley denied “touching that woman” and denied having “anything to do with the death of the victim,” according to the complaint.

During the interview, officers observed the shoes that Bosley was wearing. They appeared to be similar to the shoe impressions collected from the crime scene, which were observed and photographed, the complaint notes.

Based on the information about the incident and prior knowledge, officers obtained two search warrants.

The search warrants were for the collection of Bosley’s DNA, as well as the shoes he was wearing during the interview, according to the complaint.

When confronted with the shoe impressions at the scene of the crime, Bosley only stated, “I’d have to fight that.” He never denied those were his shoe impressions; rather, he made statements of other persons having the same shoes, the complaint indicates.

While conducting the interview with Bosley, officers observed what appeared to be minor injuries to his hands, chest, and face, according to the complaint.

Bosley advised officers that one of the marks on his left cheek area was from fishing equipment he was using. Other areas include marks on his hands and/or forearm or wrist area. The injuries to Bosley were documented and photographed, the complaint notes.

On April 6, 2023, Officers from the Oil City Police Department and Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police were contacted by the Pennsylvania State Police Forensic DNA Division located in Greensburg, Pa. Evidence, including swabs of DNA and other items, had been sent to the Forensic DNA Division for testing purposes in an attempt to identify a suspect(s) of the investigation, the complaint states.

According to the information received from the Forensic DNA Division, a swab that was submitted had been uploaded into CODIS and was a match to the DNA profile of David Allen Bosley, the complaint states.

On the preliminary report from the Pennsylvania Forensic DNA Division, it was confirmed that the DNA from David Allen Bosley was found to be present on multiple locations of the victim’s body, according to the complaint.

The complaint also states that Bosley sexually assaulted Nellis.

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