Man accused of killing mom, children in N.C. is arrested in Richmond

A man arrested late Tuesday in Richmond was on the run after killing a mother, two of his daughters and their sister in North Carolina, police said.

Officers found the bodies Tuesday night by forcing their way into the victims’ home after relatives called with concerns about their safety, said Greenville, N.C., police Chief Mark Holtzman.

Hours later, Dibon Toone, 39, was arrested about midnight in the 1400 block of Hopkins Road in South Richmond not far from McGuire VA Medical Center, said Richmond police spokesman James Mercante. U.S. marshals assisted in Toone’s capture.

Holtzman said the victims were Garlette Howard, 32, and her three daughters — ages 6, 7 and 11. Howard and Toone had been in a relationship, and he appears to have been living with the victims, Holtzman said. The two younger girls were Toone’s daughters.

Toone’s relatives had called the police to say he made unsettling comments about their welfare. Holtzman declined to release the cause of death, but said the four may have been dead for several days.

Officers had also knocked on the door of the home Monday afternoon after Howard’s co-workers called to say she hadn’t come to work, but authorities had no reason to force entry then, Holtzman said.

Toone is being held in the Richmond city jail while awaiting extradition to North Carolina. He has been charged with one count of murder in Howard’s death, and additional charges are pending, police said.

Holtzman said some news outlets have quoted neighbors as saying that they had witnessed a physical fight days ago between Howard and Toone, but that no calls were made to police about it. The police department has no record of any other domestic violence related to the couple.

On July 22, police were called to the home after Toone attempted to commit suicide, police said. Toone was taken to a local hospital, where he was involuntarily committed and underwent a psychiatric evaluation.
There was no indication during the incident that he wanted to hurt anyone other than himself, police said.

In 2009, Howard reported Toone to police after he used her vehicle without her permission.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Published Aug. 27, 2016, Richmond Times-Dispatch