July 10th, 2009 02:31 PM
FLORIDA: BAD 8 children found in home with dead parents
CNN) -- Eight children were found in the Florida home of their slain parents, who apparently were the victims of a home invasion, police confirmed to CNN Friday.
The couple was found shot Thursday night in their Beulah home, said Escambia County Police spokesman Sgt. Ted Roy. One of the parents was shot in the head, he said. Beulah is about 17 miles northwest of Pensacola.
Police received a call just before 8 p.m. about shots fired, Roy said. An employee of the couple found their bodies, he said.
When police arrived they discovered the children also in the house, Roy said. The children, who ranged in age from an infant to about 11 years old, were unharmed, he said.
Police are not releasing the names of the victims or the children.
Authorities are looking for three males in a red van in connection with the slayings, Roy said
"When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty."
--Thomas Jefferson --
July 10th, 2009 03:41 PM
How sad. Those poor people killed and the kids right there.....what a shame.
I wonder if any of the kids knew to call 911 ? It doesn't sound like it from the story.
July 10th, 2009 03:48 PM
Terrible story. That's about 100-miles West of me. My understanding is the folks owned several businesses in the Pensacola area and had some 12 or so children--several (if not all) were adopted. Sad deal all around.
July 10th, 2009 08:57 PM
Authorities Search for Suspects in Home-Invasion Murders of Parents of 16 Children
Authorities Search for Suspects in Home-Invasion Murders of Parents of 16 Children - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - FOXNews.com
Billing's Murder Followup
BEULAH, Fla. — Investigators asked the public to be on the lookout Friday for a red van they believe carried three men involved in the deaths of a Florida Panhandle couple who were shot in their rural home while eight of their children slept.
Surveillance cameras showed the van at the home of Byrd and Melanie Billings in Beulah, a rural area west of Pensacola near the Alabama border, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. The children were unharmed.
The sheriff's office released an enhanced but still grainy photograph of a red, 15-passenger van dating to the late 70s or early 80s.
Morgan said investigators did not know who killed the wealthy couple known for adopting children with developmental disabilities, many born to drug-addicted mothers.
Investigators are also awaiting autopsy results on the couple to learn more about the killings, he added.
Morgan said eight of the children, ages 8 to 14, were in the home when the couple was killed Thursday evening. A woman who lives in an outlying building and helps care for the children called emergency dispatchers from the home.
Deputies had to wake some of the children after they arrived, authorities said.
Investigators interviewed the children, who are now staying with other family members, Morgan said.
The Billings had 16 children, 12 of them adopted. They married 18 years ago and each had two children from previous marriages. The couple then began adopting children with developmental disabilities and other problems.
The couple owned several local businesses, including a finance company and a used car dealership.
In a 2005 story in the Pensacola News Journal, the couple said they wanted to share their wealth with children in need, but didn't imagine their family would grow so large.
"It just happened," Melanie Byrd told the newspaper. "I just wanted to give them a better life."
WEAR ABC 3 :: Top Stories
Sad situation all around a lot of people are looking for Red Vans in this city. They had an alarm system but you know how the rest of the story goes. Most of the home invasions I hear on the police radio end with the Home Invader in the morgue... Too bad this doesn't have the same ending.
ESCAMBIA COUNTY - But first, new information on the shooting deaths of a well known Escambia County couple.
Byrd and Melonie Billings were shot multiple times in their own home while their children were present.
Channel Three's Dan Thomas joins us now with surveillance video, you'll see "Only On Three".
Escambia Sheriff David Morgan is hoping the picture of this red van will trigger some leads.
This was taken with a surveillance system outside the Billings' home.
Investigators believe this is the vehicle use by the people who murdered the Billings.
Friend of Melanie Billings: "I saw it last night on the news as soon as I saw the fence and a light post I knew. And I just didn't know what to do."
Those close to the billings are struggling to make sense of it all.
This woman who didn't want her face shown has been friends with Melonie Billings since high school.
Friend of Melanie Billings: "Just to let everyone know they were loved. I drove by earlier and it just looked so desolate and so I just want everyone to know they were loved and they were great people."
Sheriff David Morgan/Escambia County: "If you were to go throughout the county and say well somebody was living in the wrong area or some one is involved in an activity that would bring this upon them, that would not fit the Billings family."
Escambia Sheriff David Morgan says around 7 pm Thursday this red van pulled up to the Billings home.
The back van door opens and 3 people dressed in black get out and run to the house.
The sheriff says they forced thier way in through two doors and shot the Billings multiple times.
Sheriff David Morgan/Escambia County: "we'll also tell you there were children located in this home at the time of the murder."
In fact, eight of the Billing's children were home at the time fortunately none of them were hurt.
Sheriff David Morgan/Escambia County: "We are developing some persons of interest which we will release at a later date."
Part of the problem in identifying the suspects is the quality of the video when it comes to a description the sheriff would only say this.
Sheriff David Morgan/Escambia County: "White.((Reporter, male or female?)) White. ((you won't say their sex?)) White. ((men)) White."
It's little for the public to go on but this friend hopes it's enough.
Friend of Melanie Billings: "It's unbelievable. I hope they catch these idiots who did this." "They can't run far enough. Everyone's going to be looking for them."
Here's another look at the van, investigators believe it's a 1970's or 80's Ford or Dodge 15 passenger van.
It would have been in the 9700 block of Mobile Highway sometime around 7 pm last night.
If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 433-STOP.Billing's Murder Followup
July 10th, 2009 09:13 PM
SAD Very sad hate to see the kids go through that, I'ts AWFULL : (
A Native Floridian = RARE
IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
July 11th, 2009 08:00 PM
Sad, the kids finally get someone to love them and then see them taken away. They are likely to grow up pretty bitter to life.
July 11th, 2009 08:14 PM
Home invasions are becoming more popular every month. It’s pretty good for the criminal since a majority of victims are oblivious to the intrusion even when they have alarms, video and guns. I know, since up until a year ago, I didn’t bother to ever lock my doors during the day or evenings until I got ready for bed. Once I finally woke up and noticed that crime was increasing dramatically due to the economy, I changed. Now I carry when I use to just blow it off. Now I watch people with suspicion like I’m back on patrol from many moons ago.
I really don’t like living in this way since I figure I only have a couple of decades or so before its my time (if I’m lucky). Still, I don’t want to go by the hand of another unless I can't help it. If I do, then I’ll do my best to take the SOB with me. You know the saying "take a life - give a life" ~
“Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
~ Stephen King
July 11th, 2009 08:24 PM
The worthless scumbags who pulled off this crime WILL be caught. There seems to be some good leads...no mercy, and in FL they will be getting their personal 'safety injections'...once administered, society will be a little safer.
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July 12th, 2009 03:18 PM
Cameras at slain Fla. couple's home recorded crime
PENSACOLA, Fla. – A Florida couple killed in their home had an extensive surveillance system in the house that recorded three apparently experienced criminals swiftly slip into the house before driving off in a red van, police said.
Several tips from the public led investigators to a red, 15-passenger van Saturday morning that they believe was used as the getaway vehicle by the three men, believed to be in their "late teens on up," Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. Authorities were questioning two people linked to the van, but no arrests have been made.
Byrd and Melanie Billings of Beulah, a rural area west of Pensacola near the Alabama state line, were found shot dead in their home Thursday evening. The couple, known for their large family of adopted children, had an extensive surveillance system in the house and Morgan said authorities have reviewed the tapes repeatedly. The couple was killed as the children slept.
"I will share this with you — I think we were surprised by the rapidity of the crime," Morgan said.
"It suggests experience to me."
Officials still don't know why the family was targeted, Morgan said. Police have not said whether anything was stolen from the home, which had nine bedrooms to accommodate the large family.
The couple was well-known locally for adopting children with developmental disabilities. They owned several local businesses, including a finance company and a used car dealership.
The Billingses had 16 children, 12 of them adopted. Eight of the children, ages 8 to 14, were in the home when the couple was killed. Investigators interviewed the children, who are now staying with other family members.
The couple married 18 years ago and each had two children from previous marriages. They eventually started adopting children with developmental disabilities and other problems.
The house was carefully designed to accommodate the children, according to a 2005 story in the Pensacola News Journal. A camera was in every room, and the driveway was long to keep the kids from running into the street. A large swimming pool behind the house was gated.
The couple told the newspaper they wanted to share their wealth with children in need, but didn't imagine their family would grow so large.
"It just happened," she told the newspaper. "I just wanted to give them a better life."
Cameras at slain Fla. couple's home recorded crime - Yahoo! News
July 12th, 2009 03:20 PM
This is why I carry around the house. These kinds of home invasions can develop very rapidly.
Originally Posted by Blackeagle
July 12th, 2009 07:45 PM
This just goes to show how these scum home invaders will go.
July 14th, 2009 02:58 PM
Looks like the number of perps is up to 7 at the present time.
Sad state of affairs when that many folks go after a family like that, and for what.
7 arrested in slayings of Fla. couple - Crime & courts- msnbc.com
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
July 14th, 2009 06:23 PM
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
July 14th, 2009 10:15 PM
Scary situation, even if they carried in home 7 is a lot of people especially since it looks like they had a game plan.
July 15th, 2009 02:10 AM
Apparently they did arrest all of the perps involved. One of them was a martial arts coach for kids. They all did contract construction work which is how they got in touch with the victims.
I am glad Florida has the death penalty.
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