Holly Vines was found shot to death in Splendora, Texas, when her ex-husband went to drop their children off at her home. Jacob Otis Cavanaugh has been arrested in the case.
A Texas man is under arrest weeks after a woman was found dead in her garage by her ex-husband and children.
Jacob Otis Cavanaugh, 40, was arrested on Tuesday for the murder of Holly Vines, 41, of Splendora, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies say Cavanaugh was in a relationship with the victim, who was found shot to death by her loved ones on March 16 at her White Oak Lane home.
“Cavanaugh was charged with the murder of Holly Vines, with whom he had a relationship, when physical evidence found during the investigation, and statements made after her murder implicated him as the shooter,” the sheriff’s office stated.
Deputies responded to a welfare check at Vines’ residence at around 5:00 p.m. when Vines’ ex-husband alerted authorities to the grisly discovery. According to NBC affiliate KPRC-TV, their children, aged 8 and 12, also came upon their mother’s dead body when their father went to drop them off.
Members of the tight-knit community voiced fears that there was a killer on the loose before deputies charged Cavanaugh with the murder.
“It’s very scary,” said neighbor Jason Blank. “I mean, we’ve never had anything like that happen in this neighborhood so, very scary.”
Jason Blank told KPRC-TV he was working in his garage when he witnessed Vines’ two children running from their house, crying for their mother.
“Then the fire department and ambulance showed up, and a lot of police,” said Blank. “They were there for hours, investigating.”
Vines was a registered nurse who was employed at the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
“I’m sad. My daughter is dead,” Vines’ father told the local outlet. “Two grandkids without a mom. I don’t know what to say. It’s a terrible feeling.”
Authorities initially placed Cavanaugh under arrest for a robbery that took place on March 15, the sheriff’s office stated. Jail records show there was a warrant out for his arrest when he was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on March 16 and held on $100,000 bond.
Detectives with the sheriff’s office Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit added murder charges on Tuesday, revoking Cavanaugh’s bond.
Court records show Cavanaugh has had several criminal charges against him dating back to 1998, including a 2009 domestic violence assault case, drug possession, burglary of a vehicle, unlawful weapon possession, evading arrest, and other misdemeanors. The same records show he is also known as “Ace” and listed his residence in Splendora over the years.
“We continue to request the community join us as we support and pray for the Vines family,” the sheriff’s office stated.
It is unclear if Cavanaugh has entered a plea. Requests to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office were not immediately returned.