Daci Grubert’s childhood ended the day she found out her grandmother Nancy Harvey had been brutally murdered.
“I will never forget that day that it happened,” said Daci, who is now 19. “It’s just been a roller coaster ever since.”
Daci’s mom Amie Grubert, who was nine months pregnant at the time, was the one who delivered the heart-wrenching news.
“It was at that moment that she went from being a 12-year-old to a complete and total adult,” Amie said. “To watch the innocence rip out of her is probably one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do.”
Harvey owned Atlanta Car Company, a used-car lot on the outskirts of Lexington on Old U.S. Highway 52. An employee arriving to work found her body in the business on the morning of January 25, 2013.
Investigators with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department believe Harvey was assaulted at the business the night before her body was discovered. No one has been charged in her murder.
“It’s just not fair when you have to sit there and listen to other people talk about your family,” Daci said. “And everybody makes assumptions as to what happened, why it happened, and they come to you with those.”
For years, Amie and Jay, Harvey’s son, kept Atlanta Car Company open in both memory of Harvey and the pursuit of justice.
“The theory behind it was always: as long as it’s open, people are driving by it, and they’ll say ‘that’s that place,’ and then at least her name would hopefully still be out there in somebody’s mind,” Jay said. “It was never a business where any of us wanted to be.”
Continuing to work in the building where Harvey was killed took a toll on the family, especially Daci. For about two years, she was in denial about what happened to the woman she called “Grandma Nancy.” She didn’t want to talk about it or be at the car lot because she was so angry. And then one afternoon, her mom had an idea: encourage Daci to take her anger out on one of the junk cars they used for parts.
“The only thing I knew of what to do was to take her alone and let her just go nuts for a minute and let every bit of anger out,” Amie said. “And that was the very first day she said the words ‘my grandma was murdered.’ And then the bat got put on the ground, and her and I sat on the hood of a car, and I finally had her talking.”
Around the four-year anniversary of Harvey’s murder, her family reached a turning point. Jay and Amie decided to close the car lot and gave themselves permission to move beyond the tragedy.
“It took a lot of family counseling and other items in order for us to get through this together as a group,” Jay said. “We had to get our own separation at times and come back together as a stronger bond, but it took a lot”.
They are still determined to get justice for Harvey and hope one day they’ll get answers for themselves and for Harvey’s grandson who was born the day before her funeral.
“When the day comes that my brother does say ‘what happened to her?’ we will have to tell him what happened,” Daci said. “But hopefully by then we’ll be able to say, ‘we got the bad guys who did this.’”
If you have any information about Nancy Harvey’s murder—no matter how insignificant it may see—call the Davidson County Sheriffs Office at (336) 242-2105 or CrimeStoppers at (336) 243-2400. You can remain anonymous.