HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The sister of a Henrico man who is currently under investigation after police removed "hazardous materials" from his West End home last week said his case has been "sensationalized" and "negative."
Michael Hardy's sister Beth Hardy-McLennans lives in Colorado. The last time she made the trip to Richmond to see her brother, she did so out of concern.
She said that she hasn't seen her brother in a year, and described that period of time as a downward spiral for him. But she wanted to offer background information about her brother and to humanize him.
Beth said her 52-year-old brother is a military veteran with three kids and a deceased ex-wife. She said her brother has experienced adversity, external pressures and challenges that may have contributed to his current situation.
Hardy is currently facing strangulation and assault charges after an alleged domestic incident with a 21-year-old woman last Wednesday in Henrico.
Hardy's sister said she doesn't know the 21-year-old woman, but said that the two had been dating for about a year. Records show that the two had recently been issued an unused marriage license.
The day after Hardy was arrested, police went to his home on Durwood Crescent to conduct search warrants. This led to an investigation involving multiple agencies and the evacuation of surrounding homes after police believed there were hazardous materials inside the home that posed a danger.
After more than a day, officers rendered the home safe. No one was injured and evacuated residents were able to return home. At this time, officials have not said what they removed from the home, just that they were "hazardous."
Hardy and the 21-year-old woman remain in jail on charges from the Wednesday incident. Charges have not been brought at this time in connection to the hazardous materials investigation.
Hardy's sister said her goal is not to excuse the actions her brother may or may not have committed but to hopefully prevent people from jumping to what she calls a "crazy conclusion."