New information 5/14/08 – Edward Allen Covington has been charged with murder in the deaths of Lisa, Zachary and Heather Savannah Freiberg. Covington has admitted his involvement and provided graphic details of the murders. Please scroll to the bottom of the article for updates.
Lutz, FL – Monday, May 12, dawned bright and pretty in Hillsborough County, Florida. But at 1918 S. Mobile Villa Drive in the town of Lutz, something was very, very wrong. A neighbor opened his window a little after ten in the morning to hear a woman screaming “He’s dead! He’s dead!”
At 10:30, the 911 call went out. Shortly after that, three horribly mutilated bodies were found in the trailer house. They have been tentatively identified as Lisa Renee Freiberg, 26, and her children Zachary, 7, and Heather Savannah, 2. A man described only as “associated with the family” was found cowering, alive and mostly unharmed, in a bedroom closet. Even the family pet, a white German Shepherd Dog, had been killed, left in a puddle of blood.
Crime scene technicians are calling this scene one of the worst, one of the bloodiest, they’ve ever encountered. One source says that the victims were tortured – limbs and genitals cut off, faces mutilated, blood everywhere. So terrible was the damage that the bodies couldn’t be identified visually. Even the children’s ages weren’t clear due to the wounds inflicted on the corpses. Some reports say the children were “three or four”, some say “two and seven”, others just don’t know yet.
Lisa’s mother, Barbara Freiberg, is the likely woman who discovered her grandson Zachary killed just inside the entry to the house. Tim Kelly, the neighbor who heard her screams and went to help her, saw the little boy’s body as well. “Uh.. I don’t want to have to experience that again,” he told reporters at the scene.
The man in the closet is rumored to be Lisa’s new boyfriend. It’s said that he was led out of the house in handcuffs and taken to a hospital. He is still being questioned. One witness says there was no blood on the man at all. If true, then it makes one wonder if the man is just a coward, hiding in the closet in his boxer shorts, rather than the killer at such a bloody scene. But where are his clothes? Surely he wore something to the home. Authorities this morning aren’t saying much – it was initially reported that the man was not a suspect, but newer information leads me to think he may be held as a material witness or a person of interest for the time being. There are reports coming in that Barbara Freiberg went to check on Lisa because Lisa Freiberg had been beaten recently.
Edward Allen Covington is the name of the male occupant of Lisa Freiberg’s trailer. I believe he is the boyfriend who was found in the closet. Covington is a former Department of Corrections officer who is on probation for DUI and possession of a controlled substance. A probation officer visited the home on Saturday to see Covington and noted no problems in the probation report.
What about the other men in Lisa Freiberg’s life? Her children had to have a father or fathers. Where is he? Where are they? Did she owe money? Whatever happened, this crime was very personal, and one of intense rage. Motives like suspects are moving in shadows right now, early in the investigation. But someone knows what he – or she, or they – did to Lisa, Zachary and Savannah Freiberg. Someone is going to get caught.
As always, i will update this article as new information is released.
New information 5/13/08 –
Sheriff David Gee has now confirmed that the bodies found belong to Lisa, Zachary and Heather Savannah Freiberg. Authorities believe the three were killed on Mother’s Day. Sheriff Gee is not identifying the man in the closet except to say that he is “not a victim” in this case, and that he is Lisa Freiberg’s boyfriend. In other words, Edward Allen Covington is the closet guy.
Covington, who has been living with Freiberg since the last week of April, was taken to the hospital because he told officers he had “ingested an unknown substance”.
Sheriff Gee says that all three victims were mutilated, and at least one was decapitated. More than one weapon was reportedly used (my source says possible machete), and there are “no suspects on the loose”. Sounds like they think they have their guy.
Imp Thinks This Guy Did It (edited to add: and imp was right…)
UPDATE 5/14/08 – Edward Allen Covington has been charged this afternoon with three first-degree counts of murder in the deaths of Lisa Freiberg, Zachary Freiberg and Heather Savannah Freiberg. Covington has also been charged with three counts of abuse of a corpse, one count of animal cruelty and a probation violation.
Covington has admitted his involvement in the murders, going so far as to provide officers with details described as “extreme” and “graphic”. He tested positive for cocaine at the hospital, and told officers he sold his motorcycle for crack last week. Covington has not provided a motive for the killings, and the medical examiner’s office is still working on the cause of death for the victims, saying only that the victims died by multiple means and that more than one weapon was used.
Updates as I get them, of course.