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Family helps link boyfriend to woman's death

Posted: 4:54 PM, May 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-02 20:54:49Z

After Tonja Chadwick went missing, her relatives help lead a trail to the girl's boyfriend, who was found guilty Wednesday. 

Marco Holmes was found guilty of second degree murder of Tonja Chadwick as well as the use of a firearm in a crime, and wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun. Police say Holmes dumped Chadwick in Daisy Field after killer her in early 2017. He faces the maximum sentence of 50 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.

On January 28, 2017, Chadwick left her aunt's house to meet Holmes, her boyfriend, at his apartment where the couple had moved in together the week prior, leaving her four-year-old child with her aunt. Holmes came to the aunt's house the next day and said Chadwick never showed up at the apartment the previous evening. When the aunt called Chadwick's phone, the calls went straight to voicemail. When the aunt called the phone the next day, a maintenance man form Mannasota Manor Apartment Complex, a location within a mile of Chadwick and Holmes' apartment, answered the phone and stated he found it near the building. Chadwick's aunt recovered the phone and contacted police.

On January 31, 2017 homicide detectives came to the apartment shared by Holmes and Chadwick and discovered two large blood stains that looked like they'd been cleaned. Detectives found two latex gloves, bedding, and the victim's purse in the apartment. DNA testing later confirmed the blood was Chadwick's, and traces of both Holmes and Chadwick were found on the gloves. Cellphone information showed  on the night of her disappearance, Chadwick's phone remained in the apartment while Holmes' connected to a cell tower near Daisy Field, where Chadwick was eventually discovered. 

On February 2, 2017 police searched Daisy Field and found Chadwick buried under leaves with a noticeable injury to her face. They also found a trash bag with various cleaning items and bed sheets belonging to Chadwick's four-year-old son. 

An autopsy showed that Chadwick was killed with a single gunshot to the forehead, and her hands revealed signs of struggle. DNA from Holmes was found under Chadwick's fingernails. 

Holmes was arrested by a Warrant Apprehension Unit for a probation violation and was questioned about the murder. He said he and Chadwick had been in a fight the night of her disappearance and Holmes left to stay with a friend. Video from a laundromat showed the two having a violent altercation the night of the murder. 

“This case is heartbreaking. Domestic violence has not only claimed the life of a young woman—but also condemned a young boy to grow up without his mother,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I’m thankful for the diligent efforts of Ms. Chadwick’s family to discover her whereabouts, locate her phone, and report the incident to the authorities. These efforts were critical to the swift investigation and resolution of this case.”