MARION COUNTY, FL – On Thursday, May 6, 2021, Major Crimes Detectives charged Nicholas James Trench, 31, with second degree murder, first degree arson, and abuse of a dead body. According to detectives, on Friday, March 26, 2021, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) responded to a well-being check at 10664 SW 75 Terrace and discovered a fire had been set in the home.
Marion County Fire Rescue responded, extinguished the fire, and located the body of 77-year-old Alice Trench. The victim’s body had been decapitated and her left arm had been removed. It appeared the fire had been set in an attempt to dispose of the victim’s remains. 31-year-old Nicholas Trench, who resides at the location, had been arrested nearby while running around a daycare nude. Trench was interviewed about his involvement in the murder, but stated he could not remember anything prior to being arrested.
A search warrant for the residence was obtained and Detectives located several cutting tools near the victim’s body, a laundry basket that contained the victim’s severed body parts, and a home surveillance system. In the surveillance footage, Nicholas Trench is seen in the garage retrieving a handsaw, disposing of a garbage bag full of bloody clothing, and starting a fire with accelerants in a container before taking it into the residence.
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Detectives with the State Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the fire had been intentionally set inside the home and the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the victim’s cause of death was strangulation and suffocation with contributory factors of blunt force trauma. It was further determined that Trench was the only person at the residence with the victim at the time of the murder.
Nicholas Trench was already in custody for indecent exposure, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, false id to law enforcement, and violation of probation. He is held at the Marion County Jail without bond.