Byrd Billings, Melanie Billings Murder Arrests: Three Arrests in Billings Murders (Video)
by Maggie • • Comments Off on Byrd Billings, Melanie Billings Murder Arrests: Three Arrests in Billings Murders (Video)
Three arrests have been made for the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings in Beulah, Florida. See photos and a video below. See 8-10-09 Update below. Latest update 8-17-09.
Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Sr.
Leonard Patrick Gonzales, Sr.(56) was arrested on July 11th. Two additional arrests have been made: Wayne Coldiron (41), a day laborer and Leonard Patrick Gonzales, Jr. (35), described as Coldiron’s “sidekick.”
Gonzales, Sr. was arrested for tampering with evidence by attempting to repair and paint over damage on the red Dodge getaway van, although reports are now saying that he drove the getaway car.
David Morgan, the Escambia County Sheriff said it does not appear that the killers knew the Billings. Gonzalez Sr. has told investigators that several other men were involved in the murders, which began as a burglary, and police have said that other arrests are imminent.
We are very anxious to share this story … it’s going to be a humdinger, I’ll tell you that,” Morgan said after the arrests were announced Sunday.
Byrd and Melanie Billings Family (photo)
Eight of the Billings children are reported to be in the house at the time of the murders. One report says one child called a neighbor for help and the neighbor called 911. None of the children were physically harmed.
Update 7-16-09 11:19 a.m. CDT:
From press conference:
The safe has been found and is being processed.
Sheriff Morgan says that there are other “people of interest” being investigated that be of substance…or not, to the Billings murders. Mr. and Mrs. Billings, to the “best of” Sheriff Morgan’s “knowledge” are not being investigated by the DEA (evidently rumors are swirling about this), although the DEA is involved with someone or some thing connected to the murders.
Authorities say that they still believe some one other than those now in custody is being sought in connection with the Billings’ security system.
State Attorney Eddins says guns have been found and they believe they have the murder weapon(s).
The Sheriff believes that additional motives will be found, other than just robbery.
A suspect in the Byrd and Melanie Billings murders has reportedly told police that Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. was the sole shooter in the killings. It appears from that report that it may have been 19-year-old Frederick Thornton who gave the police the information, but it is not entirely clear that the report came from Thornton. Thornton told police that after the murders all the suspects met up at the Magnolia Antique Mall, owned by “Pam” (Pamela Wiggins). Thornton said the safe taken from the Billings home was driven in the get-away van to Wiggins’ red minivan.
Wayne Coldiron, also under arrest for the murders named “Pam” as the driver of a maroon minivan.