Bizarre Murder/Suicide Premeditated?
A Levy County Sheriff's investigation shows Laverne Holter, the center of the investigation, was getting rid of some of her personal property late last week--just before herself, her husband John and 39 animals were killed by the same gun. Detectives say Holter went to a jeweler in Chiefland to have her rings removed from her fingers at least a day before she died.
Mitch's Gold & Diamonds employee Ashlie Sanders remembered Laverne Holter as a customer when she walked in Friday afternoon to get six rings removed from her fingers, including her wedding ring. But she had to wait while the jeweler had to use a special tool to cut through the metal.
"She was like, 'Wow, you must never take your rings off'," says Sanders. "She was like, 'No, I've kept them on for 50 years but I don't need them anymore'."
But Sanders says that comment wasn't the thing that struck her as odd. It was her appearance. Usually calm and clean, but Friday she was sweaty and apologized because she she had been working with animals.
"She was really jittery acting," says Sanders. "She's never come in here sweaty or anything like that so I was like, 'She's different today than she normally is,' but I wasn't suspicious."
Sanders said Holter prepaid for the rings to be re-sized and mailed to a relative in Daytona and left about 45 minutes after she came in.
"I guess you just think that she would have show signs that something was bothering her, that she was upset or mad," says Sanders.
Once the work is completed, the jewelry will be mailed, granting one of Holter's final wishes.
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV20 News
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