FAIRFIELD, Ill. — A man has been sentenced to 50-years in prison for the murder of Megan Nichols. Brodey Murbarger was convicted in 2023. An episode titled “The Note” will air on Dateline NBC on October 15, 2023, about this case.
Nichols disappeared in 2014 at the age of 15. Her remains were discovered in rural Wayne County in 2018.
But who was Megan Nichols?
Nichols was a cheerleader at Fairfield High School and an athlete who vanished on July 3, 2014, less than two weeks before her 16th birthday. She left a note for her mother, stating she would “never be happy at home.” The note was allegedly written by Nichols, and she left her cell phone at home, which was later found wiped clean.
Nichols lived with her mother and stepfather in Fairfield, Illinois. Kathy Jo Hutchcraft, Nichols’ mother, discovered her daughter missing from her room around 11 p.m. She had withdrawn money from a local bank while on her bicycle before her disappearance.
In an article by the Missing Persons Awareness Network posted in 2014, Hutchcraft allegedly reported seeing Murbarger in the background of an ATM video and claimed to have seen his car pull away at the end of the video.
“It’s really hard to put it into words,” Hutchcraft said in an interview with 14 News. “I dream about her, and then I have to wake up to this. This is hell.”
Initially, the police believed Nichols was a runaway, but her family disagreed. Three years later, her remains were discovered in rural Wayne County.
Nichols’ obituary described her as “an energetic, happy young lady who always tried to bring joy and laughter to anyone around her.”
In the episode, Nichols’ mother was interviewed, along with individuals associated with Murbarger. The episode will air at 9 p.m. CST on NBC and will be available for streaming on Peacock.