Days after the murders and funeral of Byrd and Melanie Billings, the parents to 17 children, 13 of which were adopted, more mystery surrounds their deaths. Was this a robbery for cash, a robbery for drugs, or murders for revenge? Or could it have something to do with “human trafficking.” The thought that a family with 13 adopted children could be involved in such evil is unthinkable. I’m keeping an open mind, but there is this… See update 8-10-09 below:
From the St. Petersburg Times:
PENSACOLA — Byrd and Melanie Billings were “loving, caring, giving people,” his adult daughter said this week.
The slain parents of 17 children, 13 of them adopted, “wanted to be the voice for children without a voice,” said Ashley Billings Markham. “They wanted to give these children a chance, and they wanted to give them a childhood.”
That deep desire may have been the motivation for a 1989 crime for which Byrd Billings, his former wife Cindy Reeve and another woman were sentenced to two years probation on charges of violation of adoption, fraud to obtain birth certificate and forgery of birth certificate.
Court records show that 20 years ago a debt-ridden and pregnant Pensacola woman named Vickie Taylor checked into Sacred Heart Hospital under the name Cindy Reeve. She delivered a baby boy June 4 and listed the father’s name as Byrd Billings. Taylor told deputies she had agreed to the fraud in exchange for a $2,100 loan, so the Billingses could claim the baby as their own.
Sheriff’s deputies learned of the plot when someone with knowledge of it called authorities, the documents say. A deputy found the baby, named Justin, when he went to interview Reeve and Billings.
All three pleaded nolo contendere, which means they did not admit guilt but agreed to a punishment.
According to the Pensacola News-Journal, the Billingses adopted a boy named Justin in 1989. He is now 20 and lives in Pensacola.
Prosecutors have not suggested the fraud had any bearing on the killing of Byrd Billings and his current wife, Melanie, a well-off couple with business ties to pawn shops and auto dealerships. The two were found dead in their spacious home July 9. Authorities have arrested seven people they believe invaded the house wearing commando clothes and shot the victims.
From War on You:
Byrd Billings was involved in an adoption fraud case involving a fake birth certificate and $2,100 back in 1989.
Court records in Escambia County show that Byrd Billings was involved in an adoption and birth certificate fraud case back in 1989 along with Cindy Reeve Billings, Byrd Billing’s second wife.
That’s when, according to court records, a 20-year old woman, Vickie Lynn Taylor checked in to Sacred Heart Hospital under the name Cindy Reeve. She had delivered a baby at home on June 4. While in Sacred Heart, she listed the father as Byrd Billings on the birth certificate.
After the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department got wind of the incident about ten days later, they interviewed Taylor who told them she agreed to the crime for a $2,100 loan from Billings. She said that the Billingses wanted to claim the baby as their own. That baby was named Justin.
The trio did not admit guilt, but pleaded nolo contendere. That plea means they agreed to be punished without actually admitting guilt. They were sentenced to two years probation.
When Billings divorced Reeve in 1993, his net worth was just $1,400. He had total case assets of just $100 and a monthly income of $1,190. Four months after that divorce, he was married to Melanie Billings.
This post wonders how Byrd Billings could be approved for an adoptive parent:
Then I see a conviction for adoption fraud, a history of being involved in the sex industry and three marriages and shake my head. Then I shake my head again since this just doesn’t fit in with all the research I’ve done on home study best practices and methodology.
While we have the account of Byrd Billings and a wife from a previous marriage involved in adoption fraud, but I have no information about the other children in the Billings’ family.
Today there are speculations unconfirmed by authorities that Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. was the lone shooter and planned a contract hit on the Billings, while telling those at the murder scene with him and now charged with murder, that a home invasion robbery, only, was planned.
A second safe containing $100,000.00 is said to have been found in the home that the robbers/murders could not access. Authorities have not confirmed this safe.
Another arrest has been with possible links to the Billings’ murders. Henry Cab Tice owned Byrd Billings $10,000 and Billings had filed a complaint against Tice in May 2008 for grand theft.
See Henry Cab Tice is Byrd Billings Arrested Debtor: Tice Billings Mexican Mafia?
Background and related:
Henry Cab Tice is Byrd Billings Arrested Debtor: Tice Billings Mexican Mafia?