The bodies of six people, beaten to death with aluminum baseball bats, were found Aug. 6, 2004, in a house in Deltona, Fla. Charged with the murders are, from left, Troy Victorino, 27; Robert Cannon, 18; Jerone Hunter, 18, and Michael Salas, 18. A bundle of clothes and an Xbox video game system were apparently at the crux of the motive.
Erin Belanger, 22, and her boyfriend, Francisco Ayo Roman, 30, shown in this 2003 family handout, were identified as two of six people found murdered Aug. 6, 2004. The raging attack was the culmination of events revolving around a nearby vacant home owned by Belanger's grandparents and used by squatters, including Troy Victorino, as a party house. He had left some clothes and an Xbox behind.
Michelle Ann Nathan, 19, one of the murder victims, is shown in this undated Pine Ridge High School 2003 yearbook photo. The young woman was identified by a tattoo on her back that read "Princess," and two small star tattoos on both of her hips.
Volusia County Sheriff's crime scene investigators put on clean suits Aug. 7, 2004 in Deltona, Fla., by the front of the home where six people were slain in the early hours of Aug. 6, 2004. Four men and two women were found slain in the home after one of them failed to show up for an early morning shift at a nearby Burger King.
This Burger King, where several of the victims who were slain worked, was temporarily closed in Deltona, Fla. Aug. 7, 2004. In addition to Erin Belanger, Francisco Ayo Roman and Michelle Ann Nathan, the murder victims were Anthony Vega, 34; Roberto "Tito" Gonzalez, 28, who recently moved from New York, and Jonathan Gleason, 18.
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson updates the media Aug. 7, 2004, on the progress in the investigation. "This is the worst thing that I've ever seen in my career," said Johnson, a 33-year veteran of law enforcement. "The brutal force used against the victims ... It's indescribable."
Kay Shukwit, the mother Michelle Ann Nathan, grieves after being told of the discovery of her daughter's body Aug. 6, 2004. Police said the murderous attack was the brutal culmination of an argument between Victorino, an ex-convict, and one of the victims, Belanger. She was singled out for a beating so vicious that even dental records were useless in trying to identify her.
Employees talk outside a Burger King where some of the murder victims worked. According to arrest records, one of the murder suspects, Troy Victorino, kicked in the locked front door of the victims' home in the early hours of Aug. 6. In addition to baseball bats, he and his three cohorts grabbed knives inside the house and attacked victims in different rooms of the three-bedroom house.
The Volusia County Sheriff Mobile Command Post is set up in the driveway of the home, rear, in Deltona, Fla., Aug. 7, 2004, where six people were slain the day before. A dispute over clothes and a video game system between a young woman (Erin Belanger) and a squatter (Troy Victorino) in her grandparents' house apparently sparked the vicious beating and stabbing murders.
Kay Shukwit, the mother of Michelle Nathan, who was slain along with five others in Deltona, Fla., leaves the Volusia County Branch Jail after the four men charged with the murders made their first appearance in Daytona Beach, Fla., Aug. 9, 2004. Shukwit was in the courtroom for the first appearance. The four suspects were denied bond and appointed public defenders.
Mark Shukwit, 8, brother of murder victim Michelle Nathan, looks away from a video monitor as suspect Jerone Hunter, on screen, faces the judge, Aug. 9, 2004, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Mark watched the first appearance proceedings from a TV van broadcasting live from the parking lot of the Volusia County Branch Jail.
Dan Washington, center, is surrounded by media as he leaves the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, Fla, Aug. 9, 2004, after his stepson, Jerone Hunter, 18, was arraigned along with three other suspects on first degree murder charges in the brutal beating deaths of six Deltona, Fla., residents.
Troy Victorino looks at a table where public defenders are seated, Aug. 9, 2004, during his first court appearance in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the murder of six people in Deltona, Fla. Victorino and three teenage defendants have been charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary in the slayings.
Robert Cannon, 18, looks toward the gallery Aug. 9, 2004, during his first court appearance in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the murder of six people in Deltona, Fla. Cannon and three others defendants have been charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary in the slayings.
Michael Salas, 18, faces the judge Aug. 9, 2004, during his first court appearance in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the murder of six people in Deltona, Fla. Salas and three other defendants have been charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary in the slayings.
Jerone Hunter, 18, faces the judge Aug. 9, 2004, during his first court appearance in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the murder of six people in Deltona, Fla. Hunter and three others defendants have been charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary in the slayings.
A bouquet of roses and a note were left Aug. 7, 2004 near the home in Deltona, Fla., where six people were found slain. The note reads: "There really are monsters among us."