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 FL: Couple who adopted 12 children slain in home invasion 
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 Post subject: FL: Couple who adopted 12 children slain in home invasion
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:50 pm 
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http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/10/Flo ... index.html

Couple who adopted 12 children slain

* Story Highlights
* Eight children found in home with slain parents
* Byrd and Melanie Billings had adopted 12 children
* Parents were found shot to death in their Florida home, near Pensacola
* Authorities hunting three men in a red van in connection with slayings

(CNN) -- Eight children were found in the Florida home of their slain parents, who apparently were the victims of a home invasion, police confirmed to CNN Friday.

Byrd and Melanie Billings were found shot to death Thursday night in their home near Pensacola, Florida.

The couple was found shot Thursday night in their Beulah home, said Escambia County Police spokesman Sgt. Ted Roy. One of the parents was shot in the head, he said. Beulah is about 17 miles northwest of Pensacola.

The victims were identified as Byrd and Melanie Billings by Jeff Martin, director of the District Medical Examiner's Office. Autopsies have not been completed, he said.

The Billings have 16 children; 12 of them adopted, some of whom have special needs, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

Nancy Markham, a relative of the family, told CNN affiliate WEAR-TV that her son was inside the Billings' home when the shootings occurred.

"He said that Bud and Melanie had, both of them had been murdered," Markham said.
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Emergency personnel and police went to the home Thursday night 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.

When police arrived they discovered the children also in the house, he said. The children, who ranged in age from infant to about 11 years old, were unharmed, he said.

Authorities are looking for three males in a red van in connection with the slayings, Roy said.


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