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Parents of Sixteen Slain

(Pensacola News Journal )
BEULAH, Fla. (CBS/AP) A couple with hearts big enough to raise 16 children, 12 of them adopted, were murdered in their bedroom Thursday night while eight of their children slept.

Authorities in Florida are seeking three men and a large, red, 1970s or early 1980s model van caught on the murdered couple's home video surveillance system.

Police say Byrd and Melanie Billings died during an invasion of their Florida home, just west of Pensacola. None of their children were hurt, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

According to the paper, Yvonne Hahn, a school bus driver who has known the Billing's chidren for two decades, spoke with three of the children as they were leaving with a relative.

"They seemed alright, but they were upset," Hahn said. "Matthew said that his mom and daddy got shot and killed, and they didn't have a mom and daddy now," Hahn said. "I said, 'Yeah, they did honey, but they'll always be your mommy and daddy," Hahn told them.

"Katie just kept hugging me. She has Down syndrome, and she can't talk, but she just kept hugging me," Hahn said.

The Billings owned several businesses and were known for their generosity in adopting children with disabilities and from troubled backgrounds.

Read More at the Pensacola News Journal>
  • Miranda Neubauer

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