AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo Police leveled new allegations against Billy Ivy Jr. on Thursday, saying he was still hiring people to commit murder for him while behind bars.
Ivy died in his cell at the Potter County Jail on Wednesday, Sept. 16. As a result of his death, all pending charges against Ivy were dropped.
Thursday morning, APD went public with the allegations against Ivy as they continued asking for help in the search for Nicole “Nikki” Moore’s body.
Moore has been missing since December of 2016 and Ivy was facing a capital murder charge for her death.
“Billy Ivy’s been the primary suspect in the disappearance of Nicole Moore since the beginning of the investigation,” said Amarillo Police Chief, Martin Birkenfeld. “Yesterday we learned that he died. It’s our fear now that it will become difficult, if not impossible, to determine her whereabouts without additional information.”
APD is asking for anyone to come forward with a lead in the search for Moore’s body.
“Someone knows about Nikki’s disappearance and we want you to come forward and give this information we want you to talk to us so that we can find Nikki and give her family the peace, the answers and the closure that they deserve,” Chief Birkenfeld added.
APD’s Sgt. Mike Dunn, lead investigator in the Moore case, said: “We want to bring Nicole’s body home. She deserves the respect of a proper burial. She and her family deserve some closure since justice is going to be denied,” Sgt. Dunn said.
According to Sgt. Dunn, no-body cases are rare in Texas but investigators have made headway in Moore’s case.
“We do have information that it’s in a rural area, and we suspect his—his, he has holdings in a rural area of the West Panhandle,” said Sgt. Dunn. “We also know he had access to many large ranches in the Texas Panhandle and also in Eastern New Mexico.”
Working with the FBI, Sgt. Dunn announced APD investigators learned Ivy was still conspiring. According to Sgt. Dunn, the evidence came from a contraband cell phone, with audio recordings of Ivy describing the crime.
“We know, based on this recording that we received, that Ivy secreted her body and that he intended to use that to try and work out a deal. He called it ‘Plan A’ and in the process of this, his intent was to kill somebody,” Sgt. Dunn said.
Ivy’s last intended victim—his then-wife, Joanie Ivy, Sgt. Dunn said. APD also believes Ivy planned to blame the murder of Moore on Joanie, in exchange for some type of leniency.
Sgt. Dunn said of Ivy’s plan, “…that he intended to use that to try and work out a deal.”
APD stopped the hit on Joanie Ivy and informed her of the alleged plan, Sgt. Dunn said.
“We actually contacted, made contact with the person that was intended to kill Joanie Ivy,” said Sgt. Dunn. “We were able to corroborate all that information.”
Billy Ivy, Jr.’s attorney, Bill Cornett, said he would not believe the charges against Ivy unless the state met its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury.
“Well, they made a lot of charges against Billy and they haven’t proved a single one of them yet,” Cornett said. “All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and the state never have proved any of the charges that they’ve made and it looks like they’re never gonna be able to now.”
Cornett also vouched for Ivy’s character in his call with MyHighPlains.com on Thursday afternoon.
“Billy Ivy was a hardworking guy, a really good businessman. He made his living by, as a painting contractor and started a very successful company,” Cornett said. “[He] was a person that I knew well for over 30 years and, you know, he’s, he’s gotten a lot of bad publicity and none of it has been proven.”
Sgt. Dunn said he has stayed in contact with Moore’s family and broke the news of Ivy’s death to them.
APD said the $10,000 reward is still available for a lead on Moore’s whereabouts.
“If you’ve been intimidated if you’ve been scared, if you’ve been threatened, for whatever reason that you haven’t come forward up till now, I’m asking you to come forward,” said Sgt. Dunn.
47th District Attorney, Randall Sims told MyHighPlains on Thursday that some of the search warrant documents against Ivy will remain sealed for now—as to not jeopardize the cases against five other defendants tied to Ivy.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said there is no update on Ivy’s autopsy results as of Thursday night.