Amie Harwick died in the early morning hours of February 15, 2020. The Hollywood sex and family therapist was a onetime fiancee of Drew Carey, and 48 Hours will investigate her story on tonight’s episode.
The episode, “The Life and Death of Amie Harwick,” shines line on the crime and Harwick’s life, and the special promises new information about the case, which sparked conversations throughout Hollywood about domestic violence and stalking.
The synopsis for the episode, which was reported by correspondent Erin Moriarty, reads, “Amie was texting with her best friend Robert Coshland just before she died in the early hours of Feb. 15, 2020. He sent his last text around 11 p.m. — and she responded at 1:01 a.m. They had been discussing plans for an upcoming trip. Minutes later, at 1:16 a.m., police responded to a radio call of a ‘woman screaming.’ They found Amie near death.”
Here’s what you should know about the murder of Amie Harwick:
1. Harwick Was Texting a Friend Just Before She Died
Harwick was texting with her friend Robert Coshland just before she died in the morning hours of February 15. She responded to a text from Coshland at 1:01 a.m., discussing plans for a trip they had planned.
Just minutes later, Harwick was found near death outside her home in the Hollywood Hills. Patrol officers responded to a radio call about a woman screaming in the 2000 block of Mount Street in Hollywood Hills at around 1:16 a.m. that day.
There, they talked to Harwick’s roommate, who told them that Harwick had been assaulted. She said she had escaped the assaulter by jumping over a wall and going to a neighbor’s house to call the police.
When they found Harwick, she was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
2. Harwick Died From Blunt Force Injuries to the Head and Torso
The cause of death for Dr. Amie Harwick was released a few days after the murder. According to Hollywood Reporter, Harwick died of blunt force injuries to her head and torso, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office reported.
The report also included “evidence of manual strangulation,” and the death was ruled a homicide. According to THR, the injuries were consistent with a fall, and Harwick’s body had been found beneath a three-story balcony.
Soon after Harwick’s death, police arrested 41-year-old Gareth Pursehouse, who was an ex-boyfriend of Harwick’s. He was held with a $2 million bail on suspicion of murder. It was reported that Harwick formerly had a restraining order against Pursehouse.
3. Friends Were Worried About Harwick’s Safety Prior to the Murder
In February 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported that Harwick feared her former boyfriend and friends worried about her safety. According to their article, Harwick had a chance encounter with Pursehouse in January 2020.
“He came like over to her all like yelling at her, he was yelling in her face saying, ‘You ruined my life,'” Robert Coshland told 48 Hours, adding that Pursehouse created a scene at the event.
Another friend, Hernando Chaves, detailed what happened at the event, saying that Pursehouse looked upset and Harwick was trying to soothe and calm him, and she later told Chaves that she was worried about the “what-ifs” following that encounter.
4. Harwick Previously Had Restraining Orders Against Pursehouse
In the 48 Hours episode, police said that Harwick had previously talked about her fear of Pursehouse, and she had filed for temporary restraining orders against him during the course of their relationship in 2011 and 2012. That last restraining order expired in 2015.
The restraining orders accused Pursehouse of abuse including slamming her head on the ground and kicking her. They said that he had previously broken into Harwick’s apartment building, smashed picture frames, and sent her threatening text messages.
At the time of the 48 Hours episode, authorities believed that Pursehouse threw Harwick from her third-floor balcony, but they also found evidence that she had been choked.
5. Gareth Pursehouse, Harwick’s Ex-Boyfriend, Has Been Charged With the Murder
Gareth Pursehouse was arrested by FBI-LAPD Fugitive Task Force members outside his residence and charged with Harwick’s murder.
Coshland said in the 48 Hours special that Harwick previously told him, “If I ever disappear or if anything ever happens to me… you know it’s him.”
Pursehouse was charged with one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary, including a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait for Harwick. Prosecutors will decide later whether or not they will seek the death penalty in the case.
Pursehouse has pleaded not guilty to the murder. He was initially arrested on February 15 at his home and released on $2 million bail a few days later. On February 19, he was rearrested on a no-bail warrant and remains behind bars.