Murder of David Heisler by Francis McCard and Kelley Perry investigated on Caught in the Net

Mugshots of Francis McCard and Kelley Perry
Francis McCard and Kelley Perry pleaded guilty to their involvement in the death of David Heisler. Pic credit: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Caught in the Net on ID is examining the 2016 murder of David Heisler, who was brutally murdered by Francis McCard and Kelley Perry with the help of Tammy Freeman.

Heisler was a 30-year-old father of a six-year-old girl from Santa Clara in southern Utah when he won sole custody of his daughter.

The child’s mother was Heisler’s former girlfriend, Kelley Perry, and at the time, she expressed her disappointment with the custody ruling on social media.

Unfortunately, a couple of weeks later, that disappointment turned into violent aggression.

On June 27, 2016, Freeman drove McCard and Perry to Heisler’s home, where they assaulted the young father and forced him into his own car.

McCard then drove Heisler’s car toward an area known as the Arizona Strip, a secluded, desolate place on the Utah-Arizona border.

David Heisler was killed in the Arizona desert by Francis McCard

At some point, McCard dropped Perry off somewhere and then continued on to the desert with Heisler. Heisler was either murdered in the Arizona Strip or was left to die in the extreme heat.

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The authorities mounted an extensive search for the missing Heisler, which came to an abrupt end seven weeks later when a geologist stumbled across his remains near Mt. Trumbull, AZ.

During the investigation, the three suspects eventually admitted to going to Heisler’s home with the intention of scaring him. McCard also allegedly confessed to assaulting him, putting a pillowcase on his head, and driving him to Arizona.

Francis McCard, Kelley Perry, and Tammy Freeman all pleaded guilty in David Heisler death

In February 2018, McCard agreed to plead guilty in a federal court to one count of kidnapping resulting in death. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree and kidnapping charges in Arizona and received a total sentence of 75 years.

David’s Stepmom, Debbie Heisler, said of McCard’s sentence, “About the best that we can hope for is that now that he’s gone, and he can’t tear any more families apart.”

Perry also pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of kidnapping resulting in death. In exchange for that plea, other charges were dropped. She is expected to serve up to 35 years in a federal jail.

Freeman also confessed to her role in the murder, pleading guilty to aggravated kidnapping and burglary. She was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison.

In response to Freeman’s punishment, Debbie Heisler lamented, “The first emotion is just no justice. And I don’t think there ever will be.”

Caught in the Net airs Wednesday at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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