Details of Disappearance
Nugent was at her birthday party at the Rolling Green Estates apartments in Syracuse, New York on February 6, 2007. She left between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. Her boyfriend, James Guilford, stated she went to their residence in the 200 block of Genesse Park Drive afterwards and left for work at 5:00 a.m. She was employed with Express Personnel Services, a temp agency, at Syracuse Stamping. Nugent never arrived at work and has never been heard from again. Her snow-covered vehicle was found abandoned in the parking lot of an apartment complex at east Fayette and Croly Streets on February 9. It was towed to a police crime laboratory for analysis. The car had apparently been in the parking lot for several days. The location is a few blocks from Nugent's home.
Guilford and Nugent have three young children together. A photograph of Guilford is posted below this case summary. He reported Nugent as a missing person two days after she was last seen. That same day, he took the children and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where his mother lives. Authorities became suspicious of him because of the abrupt move. In late March 2007, about six weeks after Nugent vanished, Guilford returned to Syracuse for a family court hearing. He was then arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Nugent's disappearance.
Investigators stated they found a large amount of blood on a mattress in the master bedroom of Nugent's home, along with signs that someone had attempted to clean it up. There was blood on the walls and ceiling, which had been painted over. Blood was also found on a hammer Guilford took to Georgia with him. DNA testing proved the blood was Nugent's. Guilford led investigators to the Hilltop Apartment Complex in the 1800 block of east Fayette Street and said he had disposed of Nugent's remains in a dumpster there. Authorities believe he beat her to death inside their home. At his 2008 trial, he testified in his own defense and asserted his innocence, but he was convicted of murder.
Guilford appealed his conviction on the grounds that his confession should not have been admissable at trial, because he interrogated for 49 hours straight with little food and no sleep. He got a new trial, but was convicted again in January 2014 and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
There has been no activity on Nugent's cellular phone since she went missing. Her mother stated it is uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning, and especially without her children. Her employers described Nugent as a reliable worker. She had been working for the temp agency since September 2006 and had never been late. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
Above: James Guilford