Police: Suspect returned to take victims’ phones, left scene minutes before police arrived in double homicide

A man accused of shooting and killing two women this week at a Dayton gas station and then returning to the scene to collect bullet casings and the victims’ cellphones left just minutes before police arrived.

Deante Taviann Holden, 32, of Dayton, was arraigned Thursday in Dayton Municipal Court for four counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault and three counts of tampering with evidence.

He was arrested early Tuesday afternoon in the early Sunday morning deaths of 38-year-old Felicia Brown and 44-year-old Michaela Daniels.

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Dayton police Maj. Brian Johns has described the shooting as “horrific.”

“This is probably one of the most brutal murders that I’ve seen in my time at Dayton PD,” Johns said during a media briefing earlier this week. “The callousness was just shocking. You think you’ve seen it all, but I really haven’t.”

Around 2 a.m., Brown and Daniels pulled up to the gas pumps at the Shell station on West Third Street near Gettysburg Avenue. Surveillance footage showed an apparent struggle take place in the vehicle before a suspect, later identified as Holden, got outside and fired multiple shots into the vehicle before fleeing, according to an affidavit.

Officers did not discover Brown and Daniels until approximately three hours later after a gas station attendant hit a silent alarm, Johns said.

The worker hit the alarm because it appeared someone may have been was trying to steal the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

An investigation revealed multiple people went to the scene following the shooting, but before police arrived.

One person arrived at the gas station and looked inside the vehicle before leaving, Johns said. Shortly after, a black Chrysler arrived with the suspect and another male.

Holden took the victims’ cellphones and bullet casings from the ground and left approximately two minutes before police arrived, according to court records.

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Johns said Tuesday investigators believe the first person who arrived was surveying the scene and is connected to the suspect and man who returned to the gas station with him.

He asked anyone with information on the other person at the scene with the suspect to call police at 937-333-COPS (2677) or Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-STOP (7867).

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