Tyler Holder, Saginaw Teen Accused of Raping and Murdering 6-Year-Old Neighbor, Was Really Creepy, Neighbors Say

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The smoke has cleared since gunfire erupted on Babbling Brook Drive in Saginaw as police executed a search warrant on 17-year-old Tyler Holder, the teen accused of murdering 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher. Holder is reportedly in critical condition at a local hospital, and the police officer who was shot, identified yesterday afternoon as Charles Lodatto, is recovering after taking a bullet to the groin. And with the release of Holder's arrest affidavit yesterday, we have a clearer picture of what happened to Gallagher and how the investigation unfolded.

Gallagher's body, clad only in purple underwear, stripped and wrapped in a silver tarp, was discovered by a group of teenagers about a mile from her house on July 1. Her wrists and ankles had been bound with red duct tape, which had also been used to secure four plastic bags from Walmart over her head, according to The Dallas Morning News, which has the most extensive report. The tarp was cinched tight using a belt.

Suspicions fell almost immediately on Holder. Saginaw police noticed him on the night of the murder, pacing up and down the sidewalk. The next day, he stared from across the street as they searched the Gallagher home, two doors from his own.

Holder, interviewed early in the investigation, told police that he'd woken up about 2 p.m. on the day of the murder, according to the News. He'd watched some TV, then went to apply for a new job, having recently been fired from Sonic. He said he hadn't interacted with his 6-year-old neighbor on the day in question.

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A mounting body of evidence suggested otherwise. Police scanned surveillance video taken from either end of Babbling Brook Drive, which belied his claim he'd driven off that day in search of a job. Then there was the silver tarp a neighbor remembered covering a wood pile in the Holder backyard, which he denied had ever been there.

The FBI brought him in for an interview on July 5, four days after Gallagher's murder. He continued to deny his involvement in the case and volunteered to provide agents with a DNA sample, which came back as a match for evidence taken from Gallagher's body and the belt that secured the tarp. Hair belonging to the Holder family dog was also found on the tarp. Investigators are still awaiting the results of additional tests, according to CBS 11, but were confident enough to make the arrest.

In the aftermath of the arrest, local media outlets interviewed neighbors and former classmates and scoured his weed-referencing Facebook page in search of an explanation for Holder's behavior.

Here's CBS 11:

Parent Lisa Arnold lives in the same Saginaw neighborhood and has known Holder since he was in fifth grade. She describes him as a troublemaker and says she tried to keep her kids away from him.

"He came over. Sometimes he seemed fine, and then he would ask my kids about drugs in the fifth grade. And that's when I told him he needed to stay away," she said.

Arnold remembers talking to Holder on the street as neighbors gathered the night Gallagher's body was found. She says he acted pleasant and casual, as if nothing had happened.

And WFAA:

Within days of Alana Gallagher's murder, 16-year-old Mikayla Dawson received an odd text message. It had been years since she had heard from Tyler Holder, a boy she went to middle school with. "I remember he was a troublemaker," she said.

In the texts, Holder asked Mikayla what she's been up to. She responded, "Oh, nothing."

"And he said, 'Yeah, same. I've just been getting into trouble ... the usual,'" she recalled.
Mikayla did not reply to that last text, but now wonders what could have happened if she did.

"I wonder if he would've told me, and I could've helped solve this faster," she said.

The Morning News, which describes Holder as "a socially awkward teen who carried knives, joked about rape and made people uneasy," also quotes Dawson.

"He was the kid that you were always really nice to because you didn't know if he was going to come shoot up the school," she told the paper. "He was an angry person."

The report continues:

Lauren Allen, 15, recalled a confrontation between her older brother and Holder a few years ago after a rare snowfall. Her brother built a snowman, and Holder poured water on it, ruining it, she said.

Lauren's brother threw a snowball at Holder, who "just turned around and pulled out his pocket knife," she said.

"He was weird and creepy, and he's been violent in the past," Lauren said.

Cassie Hustede, 20, dated Holder off and on until earlier this year. She is in a Tarrant County jail on a burglary charge, but her mother, Patricia Hustede, said that she had concerns about Holder.

"I said to Cassie, 'There's something bad about him -- keep him away from my house,'" Hustede said.

In conclusion, Holder was an extremely creepy kid who gave neighbors an ill-defined sense of unease. Pretty much every neighborhood seems to have one of those. Most don't grow into rapists and murderers. It's easy to go back and see the signs now, but there are no easy explanations in a case like this.


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56 comments
Sharonz
Sharonz

Mental health care in Texas has been rated as 49th and 50th in rank of all 50 states.  When we start making counseling and hospitalization more available to those in need, we will see fewer incidents like this terrible tragedy.


bconover_12
bconover_12

What kind of parents did this kid have ? Please just let this piece of trash rot in jail..!!

White_Jesus
White_Jesus

Filthy gun toting , self hating , anal sex having, child killing republican . this universe has no use for them.

Chris Desjardins
Chris Desjardins

Hey that looks like a White Trayvon Martin Facebook picture.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

This waste of human DNA should do himself a favor and hang himself with his prison-issued pj's.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

It seems that the neighborhood got who this psycho was and kept their kids on watch.  What the hell is wrong with the Gallagher parents, letting the child out unsupervised the way they did?

Sara Eleta
Sara Eleta

This guy was made for "the code". Horrible.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

I'm still wondering when this girl was kidnapped, the timeline involved in her missing and then being found. How could this lunatic have gotten her and done all these things to her...Just kills me. I have kids around the same age, and if they go missing I'm going door to door, I'm doing everything I can. I have no idea how the parents treated it, but if it was me and they told me this was the guy whose DNA matched all the evidence...they wouldn't need to serve a warrant on him. I would gladly spend how ever many years needed in prison to kill that son of a bitch.

Steve Handy
Steve Handy

There isn't much on his page except weed references, so yeah, the title makes sense. I'm curious to see what sort of behavior meds he's been on. Lots of us weird kids never harmed anyone, but it seems like those on behavioural modification drugs do...

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

You would think with three parents, there'd be a 50% increase in the likelihood that a parent would notice what's going on with this creepo.

Jane Meyers
Jane Meyers

And this psychopath could have easily attacked someone else's child, if you noticed his creepy behavior reported in the piece. This guy is *17*. His own family didn't notice or know about any of his behavior beforehand? It looks like her parents have some questionable behavior, but it was HIS responsibility not to kill Alanna.

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

Where were HER parents? They had not seen her since about 2/2:30, but didn't report her missing until about 10PM when a cop just happened to be driving by...right after they found the body. The parents of sweet Alanna and that creepy sociopath also have some responsibility in all of this.

Jane Meyers
Jane Meyers

I'm glad they got him. However, the details are unbelievably creepy, as the piece says. Where were his parents???

Natalie Caudill
Natalie Caudill

MONSTER. As awful as the murder of this little girl is let us be thankful he was caught early and didn't become a serial killer.

Angel Jones
Angel Jones

You know this is sad in general, two kids lost their lives. One is dead because the other one is sick I assume. Now he will either die in the hospital or in prison. It's a sad world sometimes. That poor little girl.

Christine Carey
Christine Carey

He was acting strangely at such a young age! I wonder if he had some sort of undiagnosed ???

TexMarine
TexMarine

@White_Jesus last time i checked, it was liberal democrats who loved killing children, preferably minority ones.

penitentiary_steel
penitentiary_steel

@White_Jesus "Filthy gun hating , self hating , anal sex having, baby killing democrat. this universe has no use for them."

FIFY

jamessavik
jamessavik

@White_Jesus sounds a lot more like a wigged out democrat that was playing out his Bill Clinton/Anthony Weiner fantasy

observist
observist topcommenter

@DirtyP1 I understand the desire for revenge, but you wouldn't really want to deprive your other kids of a father the same time they lost a sibling, would you?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@DirtyP1 gleaning info from other and older stories, it seems the girl was always alone, outside riding her bike/scooter around the neighborhood.  its like her parents just let her roam as she pleased.  They may not have even known she was missing until she was found.  Ive read nowhere that she was even reported missing.  

observist
observist topcommenter

@mcdallas  I think the 3-parent arrangement is probably indicative of some level of self-absorption and odd priorities among the parents.  If nothing else, it's 3 times as many arguments about who's supposed to take out the trash - that takes time, you know.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@jamessavik @White_Jesus Wonder if he told her to "put some ice on it" the way WJ Clinton told the one gal he slapped around and then banged?

roo_ster
roo_ster

@observist @DirtyP1 Best case scenario is being able to kill the evil bastard so that your family knows you will avenge wrongs done them and that others know that the price they will pay for harming you & yours will be very high.

That course of action has been short-circuited by gov't taking on the role of vengeance.  But, since 1900 or so, gov't has regularly reneged on their obligation to inflict vengeance on wrongdoers, while simultaneously going after the innocent regular folk with hammer and tongs.  The term for this is "anarcho-tyranny" and it is leading to some very odd happenings as folks learn the score.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@observist As strange as it is to type, there are varying levels and degrees of ways to kill someone and what you did to them before and after. This guy did horrible things to that little girl. If she was my daughter, the only thing that would partially ease my grief is to kill the man that did that to my little girl. Your family is already going to be scarred for the rest of their life whether you did something or if the perpetrator was caught or not. 

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@ScottsMerkin Yeah just read an article from Mail Online about that... I guess as a parent I'm guilty of not letting my kids roam the neighborhood, because you just never know. Seeing this story how could you? As a kid I did so much exploring through my neighborhood, sometimes riding my bike a couple miles from the house. My friends and I went through wooded areas, drainage ditches, anywhere we could go we went. My kids are lucky if we let them ride their scooters outside alone on our street. Crazy how times have changed.

observist
observist topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @DirtyP1 @observist  I have two daughters, which is what prompted my response.  I would want to kill the guy, but also wouldn't want to deprive my other daughter of a non-imprisoned father.  Personally, I think the 2nd impulse is more important.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@DirtyP1 @observist I agree with you.  There is something unapproachable in the bond between a father and daughter.  I can remember my own father, a former combat medic, paramedic, and patcher of numerous scratches, sprains, breaks, bruises etc on my brother and myself, completely locking up when my sister slipped on the ice and hit her head.  It is as if all reason, experience and logic vacated his head in that one instant.  If only a portion of what was done to this little girl had happened to my sister, even the gates of hell couldn't have stopped my father from exacting vengeance.

citizenreader
citizenreader

@JustSaying @DirtyP1 I don't think they so much as 'knew we were safe', as assumed it. I had the same experience growing up and cannot imagine a life of constant supervision- which we're all pretty well treated to these days. Parents probably shouldn't catch so much criticism, for such a thing as letting their kids play outside unsupervised. Are we really going to have eyeballs on them 24/7? It'd be nice, but it's impossible for most. It IS messed up that, basically, the freedom is gone- thanks to the  unwillingness of psychotic aggressors to control themselves. They were always there, but now there is a pressure to hover and protect which could adversely affect reasoning ability in the real world. 


bconover_12
bconover_12

My Parents were also the same. they always told me to go outside and have fun with the neighbors till sunset. now you try that your asking for trouble. it's a very sad society we all live in today.

ToscasKiss
ToscasKiss

@DirtyP1 Same experience here; we'd go out and be gone for hours; often parents weren't home.  It was no problem, and we (siblings and friends) got into very little trouble.  I did once go on a long trek by myself (was probably about 10 or 11), and had a man repeatedly try to get me into his truck.  He said I'd get arrested if the police found me out like that.  Was a little scared, but was thinking "What an idiot!  Does he really think I'd believe that?  And doesn't he know they teach us about people like him in school?"  Finally gave up and headed for home, after his third stop, and exposing himself.  Sick pervo.  

My parents were good, caring parents, but it was different times then.  I'd never allow that kind of freedom, if I had kids today.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@CogitoErgoSum  I did look at it. There was also a corresponding huge decline in violence against adults in the same time period in that study. Do you actually believe that? It reads like one of those cooked up crime statistic reports that a local sheriff releases around election time.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@CogitoErgoSum I don't completely buy that. I do think that parents are much more paranoid now than they used to be. Another big factor is people don't get to know their neighbors as much as they used to. There were 20 houses full of eyes keeping watch over the neighborhood back then. Now people don't even know the name of the family 2 doors down.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@DirtyP1 It is fucked up how much things have changed. When I was a kid, me and my neighborhood buddies where roaming around from after breakfast till the sun went down and our parents never blinked because they knew we were safe. Hell, they encouraged it. The biggest empty threat my parents had back then was telling me if I kept going in and out of the house I was going to have to stay in.

melinda_cook68
melinda_cook68

@FreewheelinFranklin @observist @DirtyP1 

I feel the exact way. I have 3 grown kids and a 9 yr. old. I live in a nice neighborhood and wish I could let my 9yr. old ride his bicycle unsupervised without worry but I just can't. I've read too many stories like this :(

FreewheelinFranklin
FreewheelinFranklin

@observist @DirtyP1 As the parent of a 9-year-old, I ask myself these questions often. Needless to say, one wants to err on the side of caution and also to avoid the opprobrium of a society that apparently believes kids will spring forth fully socialized at age 16 having not had a single unsupervised moment in their lives. 

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@observist I think it's a combination of both. Also having sex offenders being required to register, you can check the neighborhood you're in to know who to possibly stay away from. On the flip side, if you have a random actor like this guy, no record, there isn't much that could be done. Or in the case of the West Memphis 3, we might not ever know what happened. 

observist
observist topcommenter

@DirtyP1  Overall crime and crime against children is much lower than it was in the 70's-80's, when parents let their kids roam around unsupervised.  Is crime against kids down because parents are now more vigilant, or are parents vastly more paranoid than they were then? 

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