SAGINAW, Texas (AP) — Investigators on Wednesday removed items from the North Texas home of the teenager suspected of killing his 6-year-old neighbor whose body was found in a tarp three weeks ago.
A multi-agency major crimes task force tried to serve search and arrest warrants Tuesday, but 17-year-old Tyler Holder fired at the officers, seriously wounding an Arlington detective, authorities said. Charles 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.
Dozens of FBI agents and other law enforcement officers could be seen going in and out of Holder's house, just two doors down from where Alanna Gallagher had lived with her family in the neighborhood of one-story homes in Saginaw, a Fort Worth suburb.
The search of the house follows weeks of investigation and turmoil in the neighborhood, 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.
Alanna had been missing for about five hours when her body was discovered July 1 on a street a mile from her house.
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 to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that she was in shock and worried about her son's condition. Evans declined further comment.
Neighbors, who described Holder as a nuisance, said he was often seen walking around at various hours during the day and night.
Lisa Arnold said that when Holder was in the fifth grade, he asked her children if they had ever dropped acid. A teacher had already said the young Holder was "bad news," and when Arnold told him to stay away from her children, he walked in front of their house carrying a metal pipe, she said.
Yolanda Sierra said that Holder was wearing a T-shirt that read "Wanted" at a memorial service for Alanna.
"It's inappropriate because ... she was murdered," Sierra said.
- Crime & Justice
- Society & Culture