Melissa Howard Murder: Where is David Russell Holbrook Jr. Now? – Melissa Howard was discovered dead in her Crestview home on January 6, 2006. The tranquil Crestview town where Howard resided was shocked by her death on January 6, 2006, and the city police force was perplexed by it for ten years while trying to solve it. In November 2016, Holbrook was accused of first-degree murder. The subject of “Reasonable Doubt: Murder Without Motive,” an episode on Investigation Discovery, is the circumstances surrounding Melissa Howard’s murder and how the police identified the killer and secured a conviction. Keep reading below to learn more about Melissa Howard murder case and to know where her killer David Russell Holbrook Jr. is now.
Melissa Howard Murder: How Did She Die?
Melissa Lynn was born to Janet Beal Gilsdorf in May 1972. The Florida-based North Okaloosa Regional Medical Center employed the mother of three as a nurse. Melissa was regarded as a healthy, athletic mother who prioritized her children. The 33-year-old had recently divorced her ex-husband, Brian Howard, and gained custody of their kid, Taylor, at the time of the event.
Melissa’s daughter discovered her mother unconscious in the Crestview, Florida, residence at around 11 pm on January 6, 2006. Chris Cadenhead, Melissa’s former boyfriend, dialed 911. She had been severely beaten and stabbed numerous times when she was discovered face down on the floor in a pool of blood. Melissa’s throat had been slit, and she had suffered blunt force damage to the head.
Who Killed Melissa Howard and Why?
Melissa’s handbag and other possessions remained at the house, and there were no indications of forced entry or robbery in the area. When she and Chris last spoke on the phone on January 6, 2006, it was around 8:50 pm. Chris was married and involved with Melissa at the time. His wife, however, maintained that he arrived at the house between 9:00 and 9:15 that evening. The police discovered that Melissa and Brian had been divorced for roughly three years and that they had fought bitterly over Taylor’s custody.
In the days before the murder, it was said that she had gained custody. Given the situation, the police checked into Brian, but he had a solid alibi, quickly disqualifying him. Then, the detectives gave Brian’s friend, David Russell Holbrook Jr., who knew Melissa, some thought. One of Melissa’s acquaintances, Jennifer Knudson, claimed that David had suddenly dropped by Melissa’s house a few weeks before the murder.
Jennifer, who was speaking with Melissa then, noted that it made both of them uncomfortable. When David was questioned, he admitted to attending a party on January 6 but claimed to have departed for a brief period of time to drop his kids off at their mother’s house before going to Walmart to get medication. Then he went back to the gathering. The investigation, unfortunately, went cold without any arrests at the time because there was little tangible evidence and no apparent motive.
The authorities revisited the case in May 2015. This time, the hoodie Melissa was sporting was sent in for examination. David was identified at the scene according to DNA evidence that matched him. At around 9:35 pm, Walmart’s surveillance cameras saw him acting strangely and apparently attempting to clean the blood from his hands. The police were also skeptical of David’s shifting accounts; at first, he said he hadn’t seen Melissa in years, but then he said he’d been to her house two days before the murder. In November 2016, he was detained at his place of employment.
Where is David Russell Holbrook Jr. Now?
Most of the prosecution’s attention was on the DNA evidence, and Melissa’s attorney testified. She claimed they had a phone conversation two days before Melissa’s passing. Melissa mentioned David approaching her about Taylor’s custody at the time; she thought Brian had sent him to her to press her for custody. “You must permit the youngster to spend time with his father. And you’ve got to move on from this,” supposedly David added.
The defense claimed that the DNA came from David’s most recent visit to Melissa. Additionally, they tried to blame Chris, the couple’s lover. Nevertheless, David was convicted of first-degree murder in February 2019 and given a life sentence. His continued imprisonment at the Gulf Correctional Institution in Wewahitchka, Florida, as shown by records.