Nancy Lorene Griffith
1963 - 1979
Nancy L. Griffith weighed a whooping ten pounds when she was born July 14, 1963 in Ely, Nevada. She would remain chunky and a bit overweight her whole short sixteen years of life. Nancy was the tenth and last child of Harold and Edna Wright Griffith to be born in a span of seventeen years. Her maternal grandparents, Elmer and Nora Wright, lived in Tooele, Utah.
Nancy grew up in the family home located on the McGill Highway, about eight miles north of Ely and about five miles south of McGill, Nevada. Her father was 54 years old when Nancy was born and she was the "apple of his eye." He doted on this last born child of his.
Nancy's siblings, Charles, Robert, Danny, Lee, Richard, Raymond, Carlyle, Alan, Rae Annette (Higbee) and Barbara (Baker) all adored their baby sister. Due to the great differences in the siblings ages, Nancy suffered a great many separations beginning early in her life.
Nancy's mother Edna returned to school to become an LPN when Nancy was two and entered the work force the following year. The five oldest children left their parents nest during the first five years of Nancy's life.
The entire family suffered a great traumatic loss when eighteen year old Richard Griffith was killed while serving his country in the Vietnam conflict on October 9, 1968. Nancy was only five years old when her brother died. Adding to her insecurities, the other four siblings left home during the next seven years.
All of these factors added up to create a lonely and insecure teenager. To paint Nancy as being a perfect child would be a lie. As are so many teenagers, Nancy was rebellious, experimental, desired to grow up too fast and was on a personal quest for independence and acceptance. Like most teenagers, she resented authority, advice or restriction of any kind.
Nancy was a student at the White Pine High School. School was not very important to her, and while she was intelligent, she did not excel academically. She was an avid reader, loved the outdoors, and wrote poetry to express the way she felt. At the age of sixteen, Nancy had developed into an attractive young woman with beautiful soft brown eyes that reminded one of a does eyes. Her thick, dark brunette hair was shoulder length and framed her face.
Family was always important to Nancy. She would spend hours playing with her young nieces and nephews and they all adored her as she adored them.
Nancy was too trusting of everyone. She had a generous nature and never wanted to believe that true evil existed. She would always find the good in even the most undesirable people. Growing up in a small community where heinous crimes are almost unheard of helped promote her trust in others.
But on September 28, 1979, Nancy made a fatal life decision when she and a friend agreed to go to the home of a stranger and she did not get out of his vehicle when her friend was dropped off later at a relatives house. On September 29, 1979 Nancy Lorene Griffith died at the age if 16 years old, at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cause: Murdered. Beaten, raped, doused with White Gas and set on fire by 25 year old Robert Ybarra Jr. sometime during the evening of September 28, 1979 or morning of September 29, 1979. She had suffered severe burns over more than 75% of her body, seared lungs from inhaling fire, and a fractured skull.
On October 3, 1979, LDS funeral services were held for Nancy from the Stake Center in East Ely, NV. The pallbearers were her six brothers. Nancy Griffith was buried near her brother Richard in the Ely City Cemetery, Ely, Nevada. Her death was an incredibly sad end to a young life.
Her confessed murderer, Robert Ybarra Jr. is still incarcerated on death row at the Ely State Maximum Prison twenty years after her murder. He continues to cheat justice by filing multiple appeals. Nancy Griffith's family continues to be denied closure until the day he finally pays the price for killing her in such a savage way.
The Nancy Griffith Murder
Nancy Griffith Biography and poetry
Robert Ybarra Jr. Profile
The Arrest and Trial Delays Chronology
The Crime Details
The Trial Chronology
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