A South Carolina woman, who’d given emotional interviews about stumbling into the gruesome murder scene of four loved ones, was arrested and ordered held without bail this weekend in connection with that 2015 quadruple slaying, officials said.
Amy Vilardi and her husband, Rosmore “Ross” Vilardi, are both accused of killing Cathy Scott, 60; Mike Scott, 59; Barbara Scott, 80; and Violet Taylor, 82, on Halloween night of 2015 in the victims’ Refuge Road home in Pendleton, authorities said. Each victim had at least one gunshot wound, officials said at the time.
Cathy Scott was Amy Vilardi’s mother, and Violet Taylor was her grandmother. Mike Scott was the husband of Cathy Scott and son of Barbara Scott. Amy Vilardi called 911 on Nov. 2 after discovering the gruesome crime scene, authorities said.
Just days after the murders, she told NBC affiliate WYFF of Greenville, South Carolina, that she had difficulty shaking the memory of finding the bodies.
“When I went to knock on the back door, the door just pushed open so I walked in and it was dark and I just flipped the light on and there they were. They were just, they were there,” Vilardi said.
She added: “I don’t understand why any of it has happened and I just keep thinking it’s a dream I’m going to wake up from. Whoever did this, I don’t see how you can live with yourself.”
Now, Vilardi and her husband are both charged with four counts of murder. They were arrested Friday at their Columbia home, and a judge ordered them held without bail on Saturday.
“This is a case that rocked our county extremely hard,” Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride told reporters on Friday. “We’ve tried to keep it at the forefront of the media and the public’s awareness and knowledge.”
The suspects were not represented by attorneys during Saturday’s court appearance, and it wasn’t clear if they had hired or been assigned defense lawyers by Monday, a sheriff’s department spokesperson said.
McBride thanked the victims’ loves ones for their patience over the years as his detectives worked the cold case.
“God bless this family. They have been through so much and they have waited a long time and we are just so pleased they don’t have to wait anymore,” he said. “I can’t wait to see justice served.”
The sheriff declined to reveal any details of how detectives linked Amy and Ross Vilardi to the slayings.
“Some things have to be preserved for our day in court,” he said. “Anything I say, as far as details, the other side can use against us.”
The couple had been on the detectives’ radar for years.
In 2018, the now-suspects had gone to court asking that cars, electronic devices, firearms and cash that had been seized from them be returned.
“We have some issues there with whether or not some evidence may have been moved before the sheriff’s office even got involved,” Anderson County Attorney Leon Harmon told a court in 2018. “That’s why we feel like we need to control the evidence until we get to the end of our investigation.”
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