Severed Ear Found Where Co-Worker Likely Killed: Documents

From behind bars, Steve Hlebo adamantly denied involvement in the death of Kyle Myrick, who was reported missing from his job in San Jose last week.

Police investigating the death of a Northern California man believed slain by a co-worker found a severed ear and a "great deal of fresh blood" in a storage room where the suspect's GMC truck had been parked, according to court documents released Wednesday.

Steve Hlebo, accused of killing 28-year-old Kyle Myrick, looked serious and downcast as he shuffled into court Wednesday afternoon to face murder charges, two days after he said in a jailhouse interview he is innocent and part of a plot stranger than a "science fiction novel."

Myrick was reported missing Friday. Police determined a boarded-up shop next door to GP Sports in San Jose, where both Myrick and Hlebo worked, was a homicide scene. They took Hlebo into custody Saturday. 

A San Jose police report detailing what authorities believe happened to Myrick was filed Wednesday, along with charging documents. According to the report, Hlebo admitted to fighting with Myrick. Hlebo allegedly told a family member he had killed Myrick and disposed of the body in the ocean, the report stated, even though in a jailhouse interview, Hlebo said he was innocent.

Myrick's body has not been found, but investigators discovered fresh blood on the walls and floor of the storage room where police said Hlebo's vehicle had been parked, according to the report, which said "there was also a severed human ear lying in a pool of blood on the floor" and that a "large amount of blood was found in the cab of the truck."

"I believe that Steve Hlebo is responsible for the murder of Kyle Myrick," San Jose Police Det. Jason Tanner concludes at the end of the report.

A Los Altos man who was arrested on a murder charge after police presume he killed his co-worker told NBC Bay Area in a jailhouse interview on Monday that he didn’t do it and he was set up.

Hlebo, however, told NBC Bay Area and other reporters Monday he was framed for the homicide of Myrick, a colleague with whom he had worked for less than a week. Hlebo claimed in the jailhouse interview he had been "hopped up on drugs" and that "four or five individuals" he worked with must have drugged his drink. 

"I think they were putting it in intentionally so they could discredit me and pin the murder on me, essentially," Hlebo said Monday.

He didn't specify exactly who the co-workers were, or why they would want to harm him. He insisted he had no mental illness, was not taking any drugs himself and had no prior arrests other than a past DUI.

A check at the Santa Clara County courthouse showed Hlebo was the subject of five criminal cases from 2000 to 2005, though the records were in storage and a clerk would not detail the charges. Myrick has no criminal record in Santa Clara County.

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Hlebo made no mention in the jailhouse interview of the alleged fight he had with Myrick or the ear that police said they found.

San Jose police have not responded specifically to Hlebo’s jailhouse claims, which NBC Bay Area has not been able to substantiate. Myrick's mother, Kelly Sparry, however, told reporters earlier this week: "I just think he's lying, and he's trying to put the blame on other people."

Meanwhile, Myrick's family has held daily searches in the Santa Cruz mountains and along the coastline. On Tuesday afternoon, search teams used a drone to try to find Myrick. 

The family is still holding onto a sliver of hope, but outside Hlebo's arraignment, brother Rick Myrick said the new details make "all our worst fears come true."

Another brother, Shane Myrick, teared up after court announcing details of Thursday's search, asking for any and all help to "bring Kyle home."

Hlebo remains held without bail in Santa Clara County jail and is due back in court Feb. 16 to enter a plea.

Warning: Some people might find details contained in the police report disturbing.

NBC Bay Area's Clemence Robineau contributed to this report.

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