Police Search Suspect’s Home In Saginaw Girl’s Death
SAGINAW (CBSDFW.COM/AP) —Investigators on Wednesday removed items from the North Texas home of the teenager suspected of killing his 6-year-old neighbor, Alanna Gallagher, whose body was found in a tarp three weeks ago.
A multi-agency major crimes task force, consisting of members from the Saginaw Police Department, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and the North Texas Major Case Investigative Team, tried to serve search and arrest warrants Tuesday, but 17-year-old Tyler Holder fired at the officers. Bullets from the teen’s gun hit and seriously wounded Arlington Police Officer Charles Lodatto, authorities said. Lodatto, the 2012 Arlington police detective of the year, was recovering Wednesday in a Fort Worth hospital.
Holder was shot and remains hospitalized, but officials have refused to release his medical condition. Holder is now charged with two counts of Capital Murder; one for Alanna’s death and another for shooting officer Lodatto.
The new arrest warrant says Lodatto, an FBI agent, and a Saginaw Detective went to Holder’s home Tuesday to talk to him about the investigation. Holder told them he would not speak about it. When he was told he was under arrest, “Holder reached behind him and produced a handgun,” according to the documents.
The FBI agent grabbed him to gain control of the gun. As the two struggled, Holder fired his gun. The Saginaw Detective returned fire, shooting Holder in the head area.
The attempted arrest was the culmination of weeks of investigation and turmoil in the Tarrant County neighborhood where Alanna had lived, and it followed the discovery last week that someone had set fire to a makeshift memorial to the girl and torched a car owned by her family.
Authorities suspect that Holder sexually assaulted and suffocated his young neighbor, who was found with plastic bags taped around her neck, according to the capital murder arrest warrant affidavit. Holder’s DNA matched evidence found on the girl’s body and on a belt wrapped around the tarp, according to the affidavit.
Holder told police that on the day the girl went missing, he had slept until the afternoon, watched television and then looked for a job — but his car had not moved, according to the affidavit.
Kimberly Holder lives at the home with her son but was not there Tuesday morning, police said. She referred calls to her attorney, Lance T. Evans, who said in an email statement, “Mrs. Holder is in shock, and is extremely worried about the condition of her son, as any mother would be. I ask that the Holder family’s request for privacy be honored as they come to grips with today’s events”. Evans declined further comment.
Alanna’s family has not made any public comments. Her mother Laura Gallagher wrote on her Facebook page last night, “I am so sick at heart, so heartbroken, by all that has been happening and even more awful news.”
After hearing that the Arlington officer had been shot she says she went to donate blood.
She added in another post, “There has been so little that we can do. At least I can do this and pray, and cry,” said Laura Gallager.
Alanna had been missing for about five hours when her body was discovered July 1 on a street a mile from her house.
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