Seven Suspects Now Arrested in Murders of Florida Couple Byrd and Melanie Billings

More arrests have been made bringing the total to 7 with more possibly to come.

There have now been seven suspects arrested in the double murders of  Byrd and Melanie Billings during the home invasion robbery that obviously went terribly wrong. The suspects, some dressed as ninjas,stole a safe and other items during the break in Thursday.  One of the seven taken into custody was a 16 year old boy.


The suspects ranged in age from 16 to 56, and several were day laborers who knew each other through a pressure washing business and an auto detailer they worked for. One, Donnie Ray Stallworth, was with the Air Force Special Operations Command with an aircraft maintenance squadron at Hurlburt Field near Fort Walton Beach. It wasn’t clear how he knew the others.

The seven suspects names are as follows from Sheriff David Morgan. Morgan told reporters Leonard Gonzalez, Jr. was the “organizer” of the crime. It’s just a matter of time, if they have not already, that the suspects will be looking to point the finger at others and cop a plea deal to save their skin in the double murder.

  • Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., 35
  • Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Sr., 56
  • Wayne Thomas Coldiron, 41
  • Gary Lamont Sumner, 30
  • Fredrick Lee Thornton, 19
  • Donald Ray Stallworth, 28
  • An unidentified juvenile, 16

7 Suspects Held in Slaying of Fla. Couple


One, Two, Now Three Arrests Made in the Murders of Florida Couple, Byrd and Melanie Billings

More Arrests Made …

There have been three arrests made in the double murders of the Florida couple, Byrd and Melanie Billings, who where killed in their home last Thursday.


 Leonard Gonzalez Sr.

First, 56 year old Leonard Gonzalez Senior was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with tampering with evidence in a murder investigation. Leonard Gonzalez Sr. is accused of trying to paint over and hide damage on a red van caught on the Billings’ surveillance video.

The Escambia County, Florida Sheriff’s Office has now confirmed that there have been two more arrests. 41 year old Wayne Coldiron and Gozalez’s son, Leonard Gonzalez Junior have been arrested in connection with the Billings’ double homicide. They have been charged with murder.

The two newly arrested suspects mug shots can be seen below.

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Arrest Made in the Double Murder of Byrd and Melanie Billings … Tampering with Evidence … More Arrests Expected

According to WKRG, there has been an arrest made in the double homicide of  Byrd and Melanie Billings. According to the Escambia County, Florida Sheriff’s Office, 56-year old Leonard Gonzalez was taken into custody as is being charged with tampering with evidence. Leonard Gonzalez Sr. is accused of trying to paint over and hide damage on a red van.

The Billings’ were murdered Thursday in their Beulah, FL home in what is initially being reported as a home invasion


 Byrd and Melanie Billings

He is being charged with tampering with evidence related to a murder investigation. Sheriff David Morgan says Gonzalez changed the appearance of the van believed to be used in the murders and is one of the two men brought in for questioning Saturday. Sheriff Morgan did not release any information involving the motive of those responsible for the murders. Morgan says the investigation into the murders is getting more complex and, in his words, “reads like a movie script.”

The big break in the case came this weekend when a tip lead them to the van captured in surveillance video leaving the Billings residence.

Investigators got a big break in the case this weekend when tips led them to a 15 passenger van believed to be linked to the murders. The van was found at a home on Palm Court.

The discovery led to an arrest Sunday.

According to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan at the press conference, more arrests are expected.

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Byrd and Melanie Billings, Couple Who Adopted 12 Children, Murdered in Beulah, FL … BOLO for Red Van

The unthinkable happens to a couple with a big heart …

A couple known for adopting children who were developmentally disabled, Byrd and Melanie Billings were murdered in their Beulah, FL home in what is initially being reported as a home invasion. The Billings were shot to death as their 8 children slept. The bodies of 66 year old  Byrd and 43 year old Melanie Billings were found Thursday night after a neighbor called 911. Police are looking for 3 men dressed in black in a late 1970s or early 1980s red van.


“He said that Bud and Melanie had, both of them had been murdered,” Markham said.

Three men dressed in black were seen on surveillance video approaching the property in a late 1970s or early 1980s red van about 7 p.m., authorities say.

Emergency personnel and police went to the home Thursday after receiving a call just before 8 p.m. about shots being fired, Roy said. An employee of the couple found their bodies, he said.

Byrd and Melanie Billings had 16 children, 12 of which were adopted. At the time of the shootings, 8 of the children were in the home; however, none of the children were harmed.

The Billings’ home had an extensive video surveillance system that had cameras in most every room as well as the driveway. Video surveillance was able to capture the following pics of the red 1970s or early 1980s van as well as suspects dressed in black approaching the victims’ house.

Be On the Look Out for a red 1970s or early 1980s van


UPDATE I: Cameras at slain Fla. couple’s home recorded crime

UPDATE II: Two People Being Questioned in the Muder of Byrd and Melanie Billings

Pensacola, FL (AHN) – Police in the Florida panhandle are questioning two people in connection with the killing of a couple who adopted more than 10 children, several with special needs.

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