Alanna Gallagher, 6, was brutally raped and murdered on July 1, and now authorities have released how the little girl died. Her 17-year-old neighbor has been charged with capital murder and remains in jail in lieu of bail but is due to appear in court on Thursday.
Court documents state that Gallagher's body was found on July 1, wrapped in a tarp. There were four Wal-Mart bags taped over her head and red duct wrapped around her wrists and ankles. The day after Gallagher's body was found, FBI officials served a search warrant at her home. Her 17-year-old neighbor, Tyler Holder, watched from across the street and was taken in for questioning by authorities.
He was released, but when police later went to arrest Holder, he fired at them and shot Detective Charles Lodatto in his groin. Holder was shot in the head but survived; thankfully Lodatto is expected to survive as well.
Police believe they have a solid case against Holder, given that bags and duct tape matching those from the crime scene were found at his home. They also concluded that DNA taken from Holder matched a sample taken from Gallagher's body. The warrant officially states Gallagher's cause of death as asphyxiation and claims that Holder killed her by "placing plastic bags over her head and using tape to tape the bags around her neck, suffocating her."
Officials have retrieved at least 153 items from Holder's house that they say points to his involvement in the murder. Among them was a "sealed letter addressed to Mom with 'I love you, I'm sorry'" on it, reports state. Gallagher's favorite purple Timex watch was also found in the Holder home.
Gallagher's parents have not responded to the latest information released by authorities. They came under a great deal of scrutiny and suspicion when Gallagher was found, due to their polyamorous relationship. Yet all three members were cleared and Holder named the official, lone suspect as police continued their investigation.