The Truth About Philip Snider's Relationship With Missy

The disappearance of Philip Snider's wife, Roberta, confused his Hartville, Ohio town. His friends, relatives and, eventually, the police wondered if the 73-year-old had dementia, because his stories of his wife's death sounded so strange, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Each version seemed odder as the story unfolded for months until police arrested Snider in 2018 for killing his wife.

Philip, married to Roberta for 53 years, first told officers that his wife disappeared after a trip to visit Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, according to Cleveland 19 News. He told police she became ill and that he found an ambulance for her, said WKYC. Then, Philip lost track of where the paramedics took her. EMS and the coroner's office had no record of transporting Roberta. 

The story became stranger after detectives found video that showed him staying at a Memphis hotel alone. Philip then changed his account, saying that Robert died on the way to Memphis so he placed her body in the Tennessee River, since she wanted to be with nature after dying. A search of the river found nothing.

He eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated murder after an undercover officer, posing as "Melissa," became friends with him. The two met at a Wendy's on March 23, according to another Columbus Dispatch article, and soon were conversing regularly. The 50-year-old officer often spoke to him about her sick mother, and eventually confided that their relationship wasn't close and she had thought about killing her.

An undercover cop gets a confession

Every time they spoke,"Melissa" or "Missy" divulged further details of her "life": how she moved from Cincinnati to care for her mother, that she was divorced, and that her children were older. 

Philip began to advise her on how to end her mother's life without making the authorities suspicious. He also expressed a desire to marry her so she could receive his pension when he passed. The undercover officer told him that he needed to be honest with her about Roberta's disappearance.

Philip admitted to Missy that on January 2, 2018, he and his wife had a fight. Roberta slept on the couch, and he had hit her in the head with a two-pound stake hammer. He wrapped her in a plastic tarp, placed her inside a Rubbermaid container, and took her body, along with any evidence, to the car, dispersing the items in various places between Hartsville and Memphis.

Philip was sentenced to 20 years in prison before he could become eligible for parole. The story of the murder and how an undercover cop got his confession is the subject of Discovery+ new true crime streamer, "When Philip Met Missy," airing April 27.

"This special contains deeply flawed characters, shifting motives and unreliable sources, all living under an enormous cloud of suspicion," said Lisa Holme for Discovery+, to Real Screen.  "For months this story pushed a small town down a path of rampant speculation, and viewers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see the shocking ending."