- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A Spartanburg County man who has said he did not kill the mother of his children two years ago even after her cellphone was found in his underwear is now skipping meetings with detectives.

Jerald Howard was set to meet with detectives twice this week after telling a television station he had nothing to do with the death of Nicole Goodlett, Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Bobo said. The couple had twins together about six months before Goodlett disappeared in March 2014.

In the past two days, Howard has told his lawyer he was getting a new attorney and stopped answering phone calls from police, Bobo said.

“I think his actions are speaking a lot louder than his words right now,” Bobo said at a news conference Thursday.

Goodlett’s skull and other remains were found during the past several months 200 miles away in Berkeley County near where Howard’s parents live, Bobo said. Deputies are awaiting testing to see how Goodlett died.

So far, Howard has only been charged with obstruction of justice in the case after deputies said he tried to stop them from searching his home. When he was taken to jail, Goodlett’s cellphone was found in his underwear, Bobo said.

Howard told WSPA-TV (http://bit.ly/1rx3fB9) that he wanted to make sure his lawyer got the cellphone so it could show he did not hurt her.

In the interview, Howard said he is innocent and wants to find Goodlett’s killer too.

“I know the entire truth and the police know the entire truth as well. This is only a piece of it. Don’t worry about me. I’m not afraid,” Howard said. “The only victims of mine came from my affair with Nicole. Those victims were my wife and children. Not once did I ever harm her in any way.”

Howard also said Goodlett was hanging out with drug dealers who were angry she owed them money.

That comment angered Goodlett’s father, who came from Texas to Spartanburg to read his own statement at the news conference.

“We will not allow her legacy to be tarnished by untruths,” James Goodlett said.

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