Slain Couple Stashed 100K in Home Safe

Adoptive parents of 13 gave gang boss financial help
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2009 1:15 AM CDT
This shot from video surveillance footage shows an unidentified man dressed in what the county sheriff called "ninja garb" heading towards Byrd and Melanie Billings' home the day they were killed.   (AP Photo/Escambia County Sheriff's Office)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The gang who killed a Florida couple in a military-style assault on their home were after a safe that contained $100,000 in cash, a source tells CNN. The suspects fled with a smaller safe after being unable to open the main one, according to the source. The smaller safe from the home of Byrd and Melanie Billings, who were known for adopting special-needs children, was found concealed in a suspect's backyard, police said.

Seven men have been charged with the couple's murder. One of the suspects has told police that the man believed to have been the ringleader, a martial arts instructor, was the one who fatally shot the couple. He personally knew the victims and received financial support from them for a martial arts academy he ran, according to court documents.