Drew Carey and Amie Harwick
Drew Carey and Amie Harwick pose for The Artists Project at Rock To Recovery 5th Anniversary Holiday Party (Photo Credit: Michael Bezjian | Getty Images)

Amie Harwick: How Was Drew Carey’s Fiancee’s Killer Caught?

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and assault. Reader discretion is advised.

Amie Harwick’s death in February 2020 sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry. The renowned therapist, who was once engaged to the comedian and actor Drew Carey, was found unresponsive in her Hollywood Hills house. Subsequently, authorities transferred her to a hospital, where the doctors pronounced her dead. Shortly after her demise, police arrested her ex-boyfriend, Gareth Pursehouse, for Harwick’s murder.

After finding evidence in Harwick’s house, the case became a homicide investigation. According to CBS News, the investigators found the victims’ broken necklace and jacket on the floor of her TV room. The outlet also mentioned that they discovered a syringe containing a liquid. Initially, investigators believed that the syringe had heroin in it. However, they sent the syringe for testing for more clarity. As per the findings, the syringe contained a fatal dose of liquid nicotine.

On the other hand, authorities acquired the footage from Amie Harwick’s neighbor’s security camera. CBS News reported that the footage saw Gareth Pursehouse walking through the neighbor’s yard and jumping into Harwick’s property. As per the footage, the accused blocked the camera with his hand. Police then called up one of Harwick’s friends for interrogation.

The friend told the investigators that Pursehouse was abusive during his relationship with the victim and even got a restraining order against him. As a result, the police took him into custody and charged him with first-degree murder.

Amie Harwick’s murder case explored

Before her death, Amie Harwick celebrated Valentine’s Day with her friends and went to Nomad for tea. However, as soon as she entered her house, Pursehouse allegedly attacked her, per CBS News. Subsequently, she made it to the third-floor bedroom of her house, where she and her ex-boyfriend had an altercation. Her roommate heard Harwick’s screaming and tried to find help.

The outlet mentioned that he eventually called 911 with the help of someone on the street. Authorities then sent Harwick to a hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her injuries.

Drew Carey got to know about Amie Harwick’s death after her best friend decided to call the comedian after the interrogation. He opened up about the moment during a chat with 48 Hours correspondent Erin Moriarty and noted that he cried after learning about her death. Subsequently, the trial began, and the prosecution tried to prove what happened that night.

Citing the opening statements, CBS News reported that the prosecutors told the jury how Pursehouse murdered Harwick. They stated, “He strangled her … lifted her up over the balcony and dropped her to her death.” Meanwhile, the defense team alleged that their client’s meeting with Harwick during an event pushed Pursehouse into “a deep debilitating depression.” Even though the defense claimed that Pursehouse just wanted to speak to her, they acknowledged that their client unlawfully entered the victims’ house by breaking in.

Pursehouse’s conviction helped Carey move on

During the closing arguments, the defense tried proving that Amie Harwick might have initiated the altercation. However, the trial ended with the prosecution team reading an email that Harwick wrote to herself after meeting Gareth Pursehouse at an event. In the email, the victim said that Pursehouse “scared” her after he started reciting text messages that she had sent nine years ago.

Harwick wrote, “I was very scared. … I’m pretty nervous that I’m more on his radar now. … He’s focused on harming me. I’m hoping that this interaction and listening and giving him time, may cause a neutralization in his anger towards me.”

After the closing arguments, the jury deliberated for two days and found Gareth Pursehouse guilty of killing Amie Harwick. The court sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The conviction brought closure for Drew Carey.

Speaking in an interview with People Magazine, the comedian said that the sentencing helped him move on. Cary said, “The whole process is over now, and there’s nothing else to be done and nothing else to worry about.… Just speaking just for myself, it’s been quite a load off.”

Amie Harwick’s murder case was explored in one of CBS’ 48 Hours episodes. It is now available for streaming on Paramount+.

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