ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (TCD) — A judge ordered a man and woman to spend the next four decades behind bars for killing and dismembering their roommate in 2017.
The Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Friday, May 26, that Christina Harnish, who was also known by the name Christina Stallings, and William Rice were sentenced to 40 years in prison for the death of Megan Tilman. Harnish and Rice pleaded guilty in January to second-degree murder.
One of Tilman’s relatives reported her missing to the Annapolis Police Department Nov. 1, 2017, and said they had not heard from her since Sept. 26 of that year. On Oct. 17, 2017, officers from the Anne Arundel County Police Department responded to a call about potential human remains in a bay in Shady Side, Maryland. Investigators located skeletal remains and determined the victim died by homicide, but they could not identify the person at the time.
Anne Arundel County Police detectives retrieved DNA samples from Tilman’s relatives to compare results to the remains found in Shady Side. The victim was positively identified as Tilman a year and a half later in April 2019.
According to the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, Harnish and Rice moved in with Tilman and her mother and “relied on their financial support.” After Tilman stopped assisting them, she disappeared. Tilman’s ex-husband told police he received “suspicious text messages” from her number and noticed social media posts that were “distinctly different from her normal communications.”
Following Tilman’s disappearance, Rice and Harnish fled to Arizona, where they were ultimately apprehended and arrested in January 2022.
The Baltimore Sun reports Tilman, Harnish, and Rice developed a three-way relationship. On the day she died, Tilman and Rice reportedly got into a physical altercation that involved Tilman breaking his glasses. Harnish punched Tilman, then Rice started choking her. Harnish reportedly covered Tilman’s mouth and nose until she died.
Harnish and Rice’s attorneys argued they were drunk and high on crack cocaine when they killed Tilman.