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Prosecutors focus on disappearance of Stacey Hicks on Day 3 of Shawn Grate murder trial

Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 25, 2018
and last updated 2019-06-04 14:11:13-04

On the third day of Shawn Grate's capital murder trial, prosecutors focused on the timeline leading up to the disappearance of Stacey Hicks and the discovery of her body in a home Grate had been occupying.

Sept. 8, 2016

Surveillance video from an Ashland Walmart showed Hicks walk into the store and purchase garden supplies, leave and load up her car. 

A short time later, Hicks went to a nail salon and had her nails done. An employee testified that Hicks was there for about an hour.

Nathaniel Keck, a former employee at a BP gas station, told the court he saw Hicks enter the gas station with Grate around two hours later.

"I watched them leave together, but I never saw actually saw them get into the vehicle," Keck said.

After that, Hicks seemingly vanished — never to be seen alive again by her family.

A few days later, Hicks' family went to the gas station looking for her and showed her photo to Keck.

"The family came in and presented the missing person and I was like, 'Oh, wow, yeah, she was here,' so I do clearly remember seeing her in there," Keck said.

Keck told the court he overheard a conversation Grate had with Hicks about helping her with her car.

Sept. 11, 2016

Authorities discovered Hicks' abandoned car on East 109th Street in Ashland. A man had been seen parking the car in front of Joanna Smith's home.

According to Smith, a tall medium-built man got out of the car. It was sometime later, after seeing Grate's photograph in the newspaper, that she realized he was the man she had seen.

Sept. 13, 2016

Police arrived at 363 Covert Court after another woman called 911 to report she had been kidnapped. Investigators previously said they believe Grate had been squatting at the house.

Hicks was found dead on the floor in the basement buried under a pile of trash and debris. Upstairs, police also found Liz Griffith's body. Both women appeared to have been strangled.

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