‘Nene won’t wake up’, ‘I can’t find Napo’ either – Three-year-old robbery victim told cops after escaping the shackles of murderous couple who invaded her grandprents’ home
Three-year-old granddaughter is tied up while her grandparents are stabbed to death in callous robbery before freeing herself and calling neighbors for help
On August 2, police found Mary Holt, 67, and Steve Holt, 68, dead in their home in South Roebuck, Alabama
Police responded to a 911 call from a neighbor who said a little girl, 3, wandered to their home with blood stains on her clothing
When police arrived, they found the couple died from multiple stab wounds
The Holts were killed and their home was robbed while the little girl was tied up with a phone cord and placed in a bathtub
Security cameras in the neighborhood showed that the assailants drove away with Mary Holt’s 2012 Honda Civic
The alleged assailants, Kristen Gullion, 30, and Zachary Phillips, 23, were tracked down and arrested by police in Miami Beach, Fla
Victims: Steve and Mary Holt [photo], were found dead with multiple stab wounds when officers arrived on Aug 2, following a home invasion in Jefferson County, Alabama
A three-year-old girl was tied up with a phone cord and placed inside a bathtub after her grandparents were being murdered moments before she wandered outside to a neighbor while covered in blood, a detective with the Birmingham Police Department in Alabama testified in court on Thursday.
Kristen Gullion, 30, and Zachary Phillips, 23, face two counts of capital murder for allegedly killing Mary and Joe Holt during a robbery of their home, in Alabma.
Police detective Joylyn Craig, testified beforeJefferson County Circuit Judge Tracie Todd on Thursday that on August 2, police responded to a 911 call from an east Birmingham resident who said that a child wearing blood-stained clothing wandered to their doorstep.
When the officers arrived, they said the child told them that her ‘Nene’ wouldn’t get up.
Officers then went to a house across the street from where the child wandered. The child’s grandparents, Steve and Mary Holt, were found dead with multiple stab wounds.
The door to the home was not locked, the officers realized. They then entered the home and found the body of Mary Holt, 67, in the living room.
Mary Holt was lying face down in a pool of blood. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her husband, Steve Holt, 68, was found dead in a separate bedroom, lying underneath a mattress and box springs set.
The coroner ruled that both of them died of multiple stab wounds. Investigators also found that the assailant used at least two knives as well as an ice pick, which were recovered from the scene,
According to Craig, one of the knives found was missing a tip. But a piece similar to the missing tip was found inside Mary Holt’s head, the detective testified.
Forensic investigators also noticed that Mary Holt was clutching a strand of long brown hair in her hand. The strand of hair in her hand was a lighter color than her own hair, suggesting that she may have struggled with her killer.
Police later learned that Mary Holt was babysitting her granddaughter while her son and his wife were at work during the day.
Usually, Mary would babysit her granddaughter at her son’s home, but on that particular day, she took the little girl to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Mary’s son told police that his mother texted him at around 11:30am saying they had a great time.
Surveillance cameras from neighboring homes indicated that Mary pulled into the driveway of her house in her 2012 Honda Civic at around 11:28am.
Another camera showed that at around 12:20pm, the same Honda Civic drove away and did not return.
Police investigate the home of slain grandparents Mary and Steve Holt after the were found murdered in their South Roebuck, Alabama on Aug 2
Police then reported the car stolen.
The day after the murders, police interviewed the little girl.
‘The bad guy came up behind Nene [and pushed her],’ the girl told police.
She said ‘Nene’ never got up after that. She then described the assailant as someone who wore a dark-colored jacket.
The girl told police she tried to wake her grandmother up. She was then taken to the bathroom and tied up and placed in the bathtub.
She told police that she managed to free herself from the phone cord because she needed to go to the bathroom.
The girl then went to look for ‘Napo’ – her grandfather. When she couldn’t find him, she went across the street.
Craig said investigators who arrived at the home saw a knotted blue and yellow phone cord which presumably was used to tie up the little girl.
The child also appeared to leave bloody fingerprints all over the toilet, according to police.
The neighbor who dialed 911 told police that Phillips lived next door to the Holts.
Phillips did not like Joe Holt and had a ‘vendetta’ against him because he believed he was being surveilled.
The neighbor told police that on the morning of the killings, she saw a white female at the Holts’ home.
Investigators later learned that Phillips was living in a home across the street. The home was owned by a non-profit that ran a halfway house.
Gullion had apparently been staying with Phillips for several weeks, a tenant at the home said.
The tenant told authorities that on the day of the murders, Phillips and Gullion were nowhere to be found even though they were seen earlier that morning.
A search of the backyard of the home turned up a dark jacket with Joe Holt’s driver’s license inside one of the pockets.
The Holts’ sons said that the robbers made off with his parents’ television, laptop, camera, and credit cards.
A few days later, Birmingham police received a report that someone tried to use Holt’s credit card at an ATM inside a CVS Pharmacy in Macon, Georgia.
Craig went to the store and looked at surveillance video, which showed a person wearing a red-hooded sweatshirt.
The next day, August 9, Craig received a phone call from police in Miami Beach, Florida.
They said they recovered the stolen 2012 Honda Civic. Police found the car which was illegally parked outside an ice cream shop.
Miami Beach police then arrested Gullion.
A search of the database showed that the stolen car was linked to a double homicide investigation in Alabama.
While Gullion was being questioned, Miami Beach police received another report of a stolen car about a block away.
That car was then spotted a few hours later in Hollywood, Florida. The driver of the stolen car then led police on four separate high-speed chases – the final one of which ended in a crash.
Neighbors of Mary and Steve Holt said suspects Kristen Gullion and Zachary Phillips for weeks had been staying at this home across the street from the victims.
Police said the driver, Phillips, got out of the car and fled on foot. Eventually, tracking dogs caught up to him and he was arrested..
A search of the recovered Civic turned up clothing from the Holts’ home, a red-hooded sweatshirt, the Holts’ car registration, and a pair of boots inside a military bag that had the name of Holts’ son on it.
The boots appeared to match a bloody footprint taken from inside the Holts’ home on the day they were murdered.
Craig also said that police found Mary Kay cosmetics inside the car. Mary Holt was a consultant [agent] of Mary Kay products.
A few weeks later, Birmingham police received a call from a man claiming his brother knew the fugitives. The man said his brother let Phillips and Gullion stay with him for a few days.
During that time, they were driving a 2012 Civic. Phillips also told the man’s brother that he and Gullion wanted to burn some of their things. A scorched license plate was found in burn pit.