Florida teenager arrested for double murder of his mother and her boyfriend

Florida teenager arrested for double murder of his mother and her boyfriend

A 16-year-old girl has been arrested and faces a charge of first-degree murder. According to police in Palm Bay, Florida, she attacked her mother and her mother’s boyfriend and then called 911, claiming a burglar was responsible.

According to court documents, Kelley McCollom, 38, and McCollom’s boyfriend Matthew Szejnrok, 22, were found with multiple gunshot wounds in the Benchor Road home early Sunday morning, July 7.

After examining the crime scene, investigators said the girl greeted the couple with “welcome home” on Saturday night, then shot her mother, then shot Szejnrok before stabbing him multiple times and then shooting him again before he died, records show.

The girl was brought before a youth judge and remanded in custody at Sharpes Youth Prison.

It is the second incident in a week of a child shooting a parent in Palm Bay. Brandon Cain, 23, has been charged with murder after police say he shot his father, 52-year-old Daniel Cain Jr., during an argument on July 2. Another double murder is making headlines across Florida: Wade Wilson, 30, was found guilty in June of killing two Cape Coral women in 2019. The jury recommended the death penalty in that case.

Here’s what we know about the Palm Bay double murder:

Where is Palm Bay, Florida?

Palm Bay is a city in Brevard County, Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is located about 4 miles south of Melbourne.

The double murder occurred at a home on Benchor Road Northwest, about 8 miles southwest of downtown Palm Bay.

More news from Palm Bay: 23-year-old accused of premeditated murder of his father

What happened in Palm Bay, Florida?

According to Palm Bay police and court records, this is what happened: Late Saturday night, July 6, the teen stole a silver .38 caliber handgun from her mother’s bedroom. She placed both the gun and a knife in her pockets and waited for the two to return home.

When the couple returned home a short time later, the teen said “welcome home” before pulling out the gun and shooting McCollom multiple times, records show. She then pointed the gun at Szejnrok, who begged the teen to stop. The girl then followed Szejnrok into the bathroom, where she repeatedly stabbed him with the chef’s knife and shot him again.

The teen called 911 at 12:06 a.m. Sunday, crying hysterically and saying a man had broken into her home. Officers arrived within moments and the teen arrived outside the home. She told them she heard an unknown burglar in the house and that she hid in her room with her pit bull when “loud noises” continued to be heard in another part of the house. Police repeatedly questioned the girl’s account.

Officers found the gun outside the teen’s bedroom window. Detectives searched the house and found the boyfriend’s body on the bathroom floor. Several shell casings were found near the body. A blood-stained knife was found on the bathroom counter. Detectives also found bloody footprints throughout the house – which matched the teen’s shoes.

The teenager was questioned at the police station and handed over to the youth welfare office.

Who is the teenager arrested in connection with the Palm Bay double murder?

FLORIDA TODAY is not releasing the name of the 16-year-old arrested Sunday because she is a minor.

Who were the victims of the Palm Bay double murder?

Kelley McCollom and her boyfriend Matthew Szejnrok were killed late Saturday night. McCollom was 38, Szejnrok 22.

McCollom’s son, Jacob Linton, announced his mother’s death on social media, with photos of McCollom outdoors holding a baby and posing with Linton.

“Please bear with me as I go through this difficult time,” he wrote, telling FLORIDA TODAY that his mother was “a great person.”

Why did the double murder in Palm Bay occur?

Palm Bay police are still investigating, but they say the motive lies in “long-standing conflicts with her mother.” That includes the teen’s disdain for her mother’s relationship and disagreements over the teen’s gender reassignment surgery, police said.

There is also a history of domestic violence in the family, including one between McCollom and the teenager’s biological father about 11 years ago. Szejnrok was arrested by West Melbourne police in April on charges of domestic violence against McCollom. In that incident, West Melbourne police say, McCollom and Szejnrok were arguing when Szejnrok repeatedly groped her in public. Prosecutors decided not to pursue the case and Szejnrok returned to the family home.

What happens next?

The 16-year-old is being held at the Sharpes juvenile detention center, a city north of Cocoa, Florida. She will have a hearing later this month and prosecutors will review the case to decide whether to file adult charges.

JD Gallop is a justice and breaking news reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Reach Gallop at 321-917-4641 or [email protected]. X, formerly known as Twitter: @JDGallop.