BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A couple in their 60s and their 24-year-old grandson found dead Sunday in their Brunswick home were fatally shot, Georgia investigators confirmed Wednesday.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced via Twitter that the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed the three family members has increased to $15,000.
Carson Holliman, 64; his 63-year-old wife, Vondell Holliman; and their 24-year-old grandson, Christopher Holliman, were found dead during a police welfare check at their Wolfe Street home after the family didn't show up for church.
The community came together Wednesday night for a prayer vigil at the Zion Baptist Church, where the three family members attended services regularly and were very involved.
"(Vondell) was very kind, had a warm smile," said Michael Atkins, a security officer at the church. "Her husband, he was a good fellow."
Members of the congregation said they will miss the couple who sang in the choir and played the drums -- two integral parts of the church.
"They were here just about every Sunday -- didn't bother anybody," said Marcus Scott, a longtime friend of the couple. "This is a tragedy, and I hope whoever the perpetrator is will be caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law."
During the service, the pastor not only prayed for the family members killed, but also for the city, the government and the soul of the killer.
"I've known her (Vondell) for a very long time. She was just the nicest person," said Marcus Scott, a longtime friend of the couple. "They raised their grandson and they are just good people."
Also among the worshippers were members of the Brunswick High School Class of 1971, who described Vondell and Carson as high school sweethearts.
News4Jax was also told the couple's grandson, Christopher, had just graduated from culinary school.
"The grandson...he was always willing to take on any task and try anything put before him," Atkins said.
Rick Short, who lived across the street from the family for years, described the Hollimans as loving and caring people who always supported him and his family whenever they needed it.
"They were nice people, man. They were real neighbors. They knew my kids. They were spiritual people," Short said. "I love them and miss them."
Brunswick police said they found evidence of foul play but did not initially announce their cause of death. Stacy Carson, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said the three were victims of homicide.
Anyone with information about their deaths or with information about the crime is asked to call Silent Witness at 912-267-5516.