A beloved woman from Riviera Beach, Florida has been shot to death in what has been deemed a tragic murder-suicide just days before Christmas.
Holly Given, 26, is being described as a friendly waitress who loved everyone by the Miami Herald. On Wednesday morning, she and her boyfriend Richard Bater-Timilty, 27, were found dead in their Riviera Beach apartment. Police believe Bater-Timilty killed Given before shooting himself.
“He shot her, then he shot himself,” Rose Anne Brown, public information officer for the Riviera Beach Police Department, told the Miami Herald just hours after the couple was found dead.
“It’s just not like my son to do something like this,” Lisa Martinez, Bater-Timilty’s mother told CBS 12. She called her son kind-hearted. She noted that both her son and Given had about eight guns in their home.
The murder-suicide has sent shockwaves through the community.
“I’m shocked, amazed and heartbroken. Especially you know during the holidays, I guess you know a lot of emotions and tensions run high,” Crystal Barrios, a friend of the couple told CBS 12.
“She loved everyone,” John Bedell said. He’s one of Given’s former bosses, the owner of City Hall Cafe & Grille. Given worked for him since she was a teenager. He called her a “human light.”
“She loved everyone,” he told the Miami Herald. “She always had a smile on her face. Nothing ever bothered her. If it did, she never showed it.”
The couple both worked at Sailfish Marina on Singer Island. Bater-Timilty reportedly worked as a boat captain while Given worked as a waitress and bartender. They had only been dating for a few months, according to Barrios.
Police said in a press release they had never been called to the couple’s apartment for any domestic violence-related incident. Neighbors heard pops from their residence a little after midnight.
“It’s unbelievable. They were not the type of people that would wind up like this,” said Peter Keller, a neighbor and friend of the slain couple told the CBS affiliate.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to urged to call Riviera Beach Police at (561) 845-4123 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS