Family of Deundrea Holloway say he’s ‘not a monster’ despite decapitating his pregnant ex


Family of mentally ill man who decapitated his pregnant ex-girlfriend say he’s ‘not a monster’ and was ‘failed by the system – as it’s revealed his mother begged him to break up with her before brutal murder

  • Deundrea Holloway  is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Liese Dodd
  • Dodd was eight months pregnant with her first child; the baby is not thought to have been Holloway’s
  • The suspect’s family say he heard ‘dark voices’ including one called ‘Ruth’ 
  • His stepfather says he was driven by ‘extreme paranoia’ that made him think everyone in his family was ‘out to get him’  
  • His mother previously told him to end his ‘toxic’ relationship with Dodd, her husband has claimed 
  • Dodd’s severed head was found in a dumpster outside her apartment building 
  • Holloway is being held in custody; it’s unclear if he is fit to stand trial  

The family of a mentally ill Illinois man who decapitated his pregnant ex-girlfriend say he is not a monster and was driven to kill by ‘extreme paranoia’. 

Deundrea Holloway, 22, murdered Liese Dodd, who was eight months pregnant with her first child, last week. 

Her severed head was found in a dumpster outside her apartment building in Illinois. 

It’s unclear when the pair broke up – Deundrea’s family do not believe that he was the father of the unborn baby Liese was carrying. 

He is now behind bars on murder charges. 

In a YouTube video posted last week, his stepfather Chris Hawk said the family was ‘ashamed’ of what he had done, but insisted he was not a ‘monster’. 

He said they had been trying to get him mental health help for three years but that nothing was done because he hadn’t committed a crime.

‘I’m not going to deny that what happened was an extreme act of evil… We are ashamed. His mom, his sister. We’re all shocked.

‘We knew he was capable of violence but we never saw this. We tried to get help for him, for at least three years. As far as longer term mental care, we were always told that they can’t hold him unless he’s done something.

‘Now he’s being held because he’s done something.’ 

Liese Dodd, 22, was killed last week in Alton, Illinois

The murdered woman's ex Deundrea Holloway, 22, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of intentional homicide to an unborn child, dismembering a human body, offenses relating to motor vehicles, and concealment of a homicide death

Liese Dodd, 22, was found decapitated outside her apartment in Alton, Illinois

Hawk continued: ‘Our system fails people with mental problems. People are left off on their own. It’s a tragic situation.’ 

He then panned his camera to photos of Deundrea as a high school football player, looking happy. 

‘This is the Dee that we knew. There is a human there. He is not a monster – what he did was savage. What he did was monstrous but he is not a monster.

‘It was in his head that everybody was out to get him. Even his own family,’ he said. 

He previously told The Sun that his mother, Carla, had begged him to break up with Liese. 

Deundrea's stepfather Chris Hawk said in a YouTube video that he is 'not a monster'

Deundrea Holloway

Deundrea’s stepfather Chris Hawk said in a YouTube video (left) that he is ‘not a monster’. He shared photos of him in high school

Chris with the killer's mother Carla. She begged him to break up with Liese and said their relationship was 'toxic'

Chris with the killer’s mother Carla. She begged him to break up with Liese and said their relationship was ‘toxic’ 

Liese with her mother and brother. She was pregnant with her first child when she died

Liese with her mother and brother. She was pregnant with her first child when she died 

‘Carla was kind of saying “you guys need to split up”. It was a very toxic thing,’ he said.

Her decapitated head was found in a dumpster outside the building in a murder police have described as ‘abominable’.

Dodd, who fondly called her unborn child ‘my little bean’, has been described by her family as a ‘bright light that cared for everyone’.

Liese Dodd

Liese Dodd, who was eight months pregnant with her first child, was discovered by her mother in her apartment in Alton, Illinois, on Thursday 

Her mother, Heidi Noel, said the family were planning a baby shower for Dodd for the end of this month – and were gathering gifts together ahead of the birth in late July.

Noel, who is now instead planning a funeral for her daughter and granddaughter, said she had sent out the invitations and the family were gathering gifts together.

She said Holloway was not the father of the baby, but the pair had been in an on-and-off relationship for two years.

‘We were planning her baby shower for the end of this month,’ Noel told KMOV. ‘I had just sent out invitations the prior Saturday for the baby shower. We were just excited and gathering the items you need to have a baby.

‘She wasn’t set on a name yet. [She] said “my little bean”. So, we essentially were calling the baby “baby bean”.’ 

Noel is now planning to hold a ‘celebration of life’ for her daughter and grandchild after finding Dodd’s decapitated body.

‘It’s not something I wish on anybody. So, yeah, I’d rather not speak on that,’ she said. 

The suspect has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of intentional homicide to an unborn child, dismembering a human body, offenses relating to motor vehicles, and concealment of a homicide death.

Holloway is being held in jail on a $2,000,000 bond.

Dodd grew up and went to school in Jerseyville, Illinois, and had just recently moved into a home in Alton. 

Noel said that because of the ‘nature’ of Dodd’s relationship with Holloway, she would contact her daughter every day to check-in. But when she hadn’t responded for a while, she decided to check on her.

A neighbor told local news outlet 5 On Your Side that Noel ‘looked so broken’ after discovering her daughter’s body.

‘She turned around, she looked at us, me and my boyfriend were standing in the doorway and she said, “He [expletive] killed her”,’ the neighbor said.

April Wooten, Dodd’s next-door neighbor, said: ‘I have a 3-year-old daughter, and I could not imagine, anybody putting their hands on her in any type of way, or having to find my daughter like that.

‘I’m praying for her mom and her family as well, hoping one day they can get some type of peace.’

Noel said that knowing that Holloway had been charged had given her some relief. 

‘I’m glad that he’s off the streets, and that is my big hope is that he’s no longer able to do this to anyone else,’ she said.

Noel, paying tribute to her daughter, said she had a ‘beautiful smile’.

‘She was just a bright light that cared for everyone,’ Noel continued. ‘She had a big heart. She’d do anything for anyone. She’d go out of her way to help people.’

Alton Police Chief Marcos Pulido said in an emotional video that the murder of Dodd is ‘abominable’, adding that she was ‘decapitated by a freaking savage monster’. 

He added: ‘This daughter, this mother to be, and her family, were in the planning stages of a baby shower that was supposed to be at the end of June.

‘Instead now the family is planning a funeral because of what a monster did. Irreprehensible. What a savage monster did to her.

‘Her mother had to go through something that nobody should ever have to go through. First of all no parent should ever have to bury their child.

‘But her mother had not heard from her in a little bit and wanted to go check on her to see if she was ok and found her in a way that you can’t imagine.’

The suspect was transferred to the Macoupin County Jail where he was later identified as wanted for questioning by the Alton Police Department.

Madison County State Attorney Thomas Haine said: ‘We believe the evidence will show that the defendant’s gruesome actions here killed both a young woman and the child she carried in her womb.

‘In the eyes of the law, both these killings are equal and he will now face justice for both.’

Neighbors told KMOV that they are praying for Dodd’s family.

Some of Noel’s classmates are planning a display to commemorate her daughter. 

‘I truly appreciate the support, and I just wish she would’ve known how loved she was,’ said Noel. ‘That she wouldn’t have ever been alone, [and] that she could’ve gotten out of this relationship and had a full life.’

Police chief describes murder as ‘abominable’

Alton Police Chief Marcos Pulido said in an emotional video that the murder of Liese Dodd is ‘abominable’, adding that she was ‘decapitated by a freaking savage monster’. 

Pulido said: ‘What was learned, what was found, was absolutely terrible.

‘What happened to 22 year old Lisa Dodd is beyond irreprehensible. It’s abominable. It’s completely terrible.

‘What Deundrea Holloway, what that monster, was charged with today can make some people lost for words.

‘She was savagely, savagely killed. She was decapitated by a freaking savage monster.

‘Her unborn child was also killed as a result of this. So she was brutally murdered as well as her unborn child.’

Pulido added: ‘This daughter, this mother to be, and her family, were in the planning stages of a baby shower that was supposed to be at the end of June.

‘Instead now the family is planning a funeral because of what a monster did. Irreprehensible. What a savage monster did to her.

‘Her mother had to go through something that nobody should ever have to go through. First of all no parent should ever have to bury their child.

‘But her mother had not heard from her in a little bit and wanted to go check on her to see if she was ok and found her in a way that you can’t imagine

He added: ‘These are details I wish I would never have to share. These are public because of the formal charges that have been issued.

‘It is absolutely terrible what that monster did to her and her unborn child.’

 

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