A Texas man has been charged with two counts of murder following the discovery of two bodies in a Bandera home. The victims, found in their bedroom, had suffered severe head injuries, presumably inflicted by a blunt object. One of the deceased has been identified as Crystal Dawn Holder, the mother of the accused, Michael Novak. The other victim was Richard Otto Biering III.
The Bandera County public information officer, confirmed the identities of the victims and the accused. The gruesome discovery was made on July 28 when deputies responded to reports of a foul odor emanating from the house. Upon arrival, they noticed signs of decomposition and saw the bodies through the windows.
Novak, 28, was found inside the house with blood on his right hand. He was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of murder. His bail has been set at $500,000 for each count, totaling $1 million.
The Bandera County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, Matt King, stated that the victims appeared to have suffered significant trauma to their heads. The state of decomposition and the extent of the injuries initially made it difficult for authorities to positively identify the victims.
The arrest was made when a deputy, upon entering the residence, noticed a bedroom door closing slowly. Novak was then apprehended inside the house.
Novak has a history of criminal activity dating back to his juvenile years. He was on probation for a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and had previously served a prison sentence for shooting and wounding his father. His mother’s mother, Judi Andreolli, revealed that Novak suffered from depression and emotional issues.
Andreolli, who had gone to the house to conduct a wellness check after not hearing from her daughter for three days, expressed her disbelief and grief over the incident. She described her daughter as a “loving, giving, beautiful person.”
The investigation is ongoing, with an autopsy scheduled at Central Texas Autopsy in Lockhart. Authorities are also looking into a truck found abandoned on private property earlier in the week, which may belong to the residents of the house.