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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Child's Video Call Leads to Discovery of Murdered Family, Arrest of 'Extremely Violent Individual'

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Early Wednesday morning, an unnamed person got a terrifying video call from a child in Canaveral Groves, Florida. Based on the content of the child’s message, the person had good reason to believe something tragic was happening or had happened, and they rushed to the child’s location.

The anonymous person kept the child on the phone, trying to ensure their safety, until they arrived at the home where the child was. When they arrived, they called police, who found a grisly scene in the home.

Four people had been shot and killed. The victims were identified as 63-year-old Glenda Terwilliger, 36-year-old Michael Andrew Watson, 35-year-old Constance Terwilliger, and 15-year-old Kiarra Terwilliger.

There were two survivors, aged 6 and 9, who somehow were left unharmed in the violent attack, a fact that Sheriff Wayne Ivey recognized as a blessing.

“Thankfully [the two children] are not harmed and [are] in protective care,” he said in a statement, according to Newsweek. “We are blessed that they did not fall victim as well.”

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As the investigation continued, it was determined that the suspect was the ex of Constance Terwilliger and Kiarra’s biological father, 36-year-old Domenico Gigante, who was arrested later in the day.

Gigante was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bail.

“This is an extremely violent individual with an extremely violent past dating back as far as 2005, who should have never been on our streets where he could take the lives of this entire family,” Ivey explained during a news conference.

“I have said this before, that if you are the capacity as a person that you can harm an animal, you will hurt a human being and this individual is living proof of that statement.

“He actually killed a dog by slamming his head on the table and then breaking his neck and then stabbed another dog. That’s the level of, of violence that this individual possesses.”

Nick Papantonis with WFTV posted about the incident, sharing a photo of Gigante being escorted to jail by deputies. Initially, authorities did not share a potential motive, but now it looks like it may have been because his daughter decided she didn’t want to see him anymore.

“Court documents show Gigante went to his 15-year-old daughter’s house to kill her because she didn’t want a relationship with him,” the post stated.

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“Documents report he admitted what he did to his roommate after police asked them to come to the station for questioning and he had made threatening statements in the past.

“Gigante is a convicted felon with a long history, including convictions for a road rage incident involving a machete and killing animals. However, records show he was never incarcerated for long periods of time.”

Sheriff Ivey recognized that Gigante should not have been back on the streets, as he has an extensive history of violence.

“As I said, he should never have been on the streets where he could harm this family or anyone else,” Ivey said. “Our team has developed him as a suspect through various leads and evidence and I could not be more proud of our team for the job that they have done.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking