Home Cameras Catch "Ninjas" That Killed Fla. Couple - NBC 6 South Florida

Home Cameras Catch "Ninjas" That Killed Fla. Couple

As many as eight men were involved in the murder of a Panhandle couple that adopted 12 children

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    Home Cameras Catch "Ninjas" That Killed Fla. Couple
    AP
    Byrd and Melanie Billings with their children, 10 adopted and two biological, at their home in Beulah, Fla. Melanie is holding a photograph of their late child, Bailey.

    The Billings installed the surveillance cameras in their home to keep an eye on the autistic and mentally-handicapped children they adopted.

    But as the children slept in the Pensacola-area home on Thursday night, the cameras captured the movements of home invaders who eventually shot and killed Byrd and Melanie Billings in a heinous attack with "chilling precision," authorities revealed Monday.

    Three men are already under arrest in connection with the killings, but as many as eight may be involved. The men wore "ninja gear" and moved about the house with stealth and coordination. Investigators initially thought the crime was only a robbery, but they have not singled in on a motive.

    The Billings were a wealthy business couple who gained notoriety in the Panhandle for their love for children. The couple, who had four kids of their own, adopted 12 children with developmental diseases or other special needs. Nine of the children were in the home at the time of the murder and one ran to a neighbors house to call 9-1-1. Police said several of the kids may have got a look at the suspects.

    Tips from the public led police to the van on Saturday. Day laborer Wayne Coldiron, 41, turned himself in on Sunday, and Leonard P. Gonzalez Jr., 35, was arrested the same day in a neighboring county. They were charged with murder and home invasion.

    Authorities also jailed Gonzalez's father on a charge of evidence tampering. Police said the 56-year-old tried to paint over and hide damage on the van. The elder Gonzalez told investigators that he was the getaway driver and waited in the van while the others broke into the house and burglarized it, according to court papers. Authorities said he also told them several other men were involved.