RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WNCT/WNCN) — As results of autopsies are coming in, the man accused of the North Carolina quadruple murder involving a mother and her three young children will be extradited back to North Carolina.
Dibson Toone, 39, waived his right to an attorney Thursday morning at the Richmond Manchester General District Court.
Thursday evening, it was announced that the autopsies have been completed and that the Medical Examiner’s Office has determined all four victims died from “traumatic head injury by assault.”
The report indicates that the weapon believed to have been used in the assaults was a hammer.
While the judge is giving North Carolina 10 days to transfer Toone from Richmond to North Carolina where he will stand trial, he is expected to be returned to North Carolina Friday. He will likely have a first appearance on Monday.
Toone is accused of killing 32-year-old Garlett Howard, a decorated Army veteran, and her three young daughters, ages 6, 7, and 11, inside a home in the West Pointe Townhomes community in Greenville, North Carolina.
He was taken into custody just after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday evening in the parking lot of Hopkins Store in Richmond after a call of a stolen car came in from Greenville.
Toone was then transported to Richmond Regional Detention Center.
In a news conference Wednesday morning, Chief Mark Holtzman with the Greenville Police Department opened with a statement on domestic violence:
“It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the deaths of 32-year-old Garlette Howard and her three young children. These four innocent victims were senselessly murdered at the hands of someone they loved. As little girls, you should be able to trust your father – to look to him for advice, and know he will always be there to protect you. Dibon Toone betrayed that trust, and as a result, these little girls and their mother paid the ultimate price. Domestic Violence has no boundaries. It affects people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Domestic Violence is known to occur as a cycle of violence that continues to escalate if not reported. In this case, it ended in tragedy. As we review the facts of this case, we should be reminded of the important role that we all play to report incidents of domestic violence within our community. One phone call may be all it takes to break the cycle.”
Holtzman then offered background on the unfolding events which led to Tuesday night’s discovery of Howard and her children and the subsequent arrest of Toone in Richmond.
It all started after Greenville Police received multiple calls from Toone’s out-of-state family members.
They communicated to police that Toone had made concerning comments about the welfare of his children and Howard; he’s the father of Howard’s two youngest, Myona and Ayona.
Officers were dispatched to the scene at 1101 Grovemont Drive, Unit A2 for a welfare check between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
By 8 p.m., after multiple attempts to make contact with the residents in the home, officers entered and found Howard and her three female children deceased.
Detectives are looking into the possibility that the victims may have been killed several days prior to when police found their bodies.
“It could have happened up to a day or more ago, all of those facts are really volatile,” Holtzman said on Tuesday night as police were just beginning to gather information. “Pinpointing a time of death is very difficult in a homicide investigation, especially one that didn’t occur as we were arriving.”
Police said after Howard’s coworkers contacted the department on Monday about her not showing up to work at LabCorp, officers attempted to check on her welfare then, but weren’t able to make contact. As her work-issued car wasn’t at the residence at the time, there was no indication, at that point, that Howard was in danger.
Around 11 p.m., Greenville Police, with the assistance of the State Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Marshal’s Service, obtained information that Toone was in the Richmond, Virginia area. That’s when the Greenville Police Department alerted local authorities in Richmond. Toone was taken into custody about an hour later.
Police said at the time the murders weren’t random and investigators were working to find out more about a potential motive. That’s still unknown. Police, however, did confirm the crime was domestic in nature.
“The relationship has not yet been established but I can tell you that our suspect did stay at this location and may have been involved in a relationship with the adult female,” Holtzman said Tuesday night. By the time he addressed the media Wednesday, Holtzman confirmed that Toone was involved in a romantic relationship with Howard and is the father of the two youngest victims.