Byrd Billings Adoption Fraud Case

July 18, 2009

Byrd Billings was involved in an adoption fraud case involving a fake birth certificate and $2,100 back in 1989.

Court records in Escambia County show that Byrd Billings was involved in an adoption and birth certificate fraud case back in 1989 along with Cindy Reeve Billings, Byrd Billing’s second wife.

That’s when, according to court records, a 20-year old woman, Vickie Lynn Taylor checked in to Sacred Heart Hospital under the name Cindy Reeve. She had delivered a baby at home on June 4. While in Sacred Heart, she listed the father as Byrd Billings on the birth certificate.

After the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department got wind of the incident about ten days later, they interviewed Taylor who told them she agreed to the crime for a $2,100 loan from Billings. She said that the Billingses wanted to claim the baby as their own.  That baby was named Justin.

The trio did not admit guilt, but pleaded nolo contendere. That plea means they agreed to be punished without actually admitting guilt.  They were sentenced to two years probation.

When Billings divorced Reeve in 1993, his net worth was just $1,400. He had total case assets of just $100 and a monthly income of $1,190. Four months after that divorce,  he was married to Melanie Billings.

(Click here to see the divorce final judgement pdf)

In 1995, Cindy Reeve Billings was ordered to pay $300 per month child support to Byrd Billings. (Click here to read the support document pdf))

At the time of his divorce from Cindy Reeve Billings, Byrd Billings was a consultant working for a company called Back Seat, Inc. — the holding company that owned the topless bar Back Seat Lounge.

At the time of the murders, Melanie Billings and her daughter Ashley Markham owned a used car lot and he owned a company called Worldco Financial Services.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Department has said several times that Billing’s current and former businesses are not part of their investigation.

Comments

35 Responses to “Byrd Billings Adoption Fraud Case”

  1. B. M on August 28th, 2009 8:31 pm

    Bud ,

    When you first would meet Bud.. You could not resist liking him.
    He had a wonderful sence of Humer..- Wonderful Personalty!!!!
    His srarting of most sentences were( AS A Matter Of Fact.)
    I truly hope he is in heaven.
    I think Bud would have been terriffic at anything he wanted to do.
    As a matter of fact. I am sure he woul have.

    God Bless his family

  2. Bill on July 31st, 2009 7:01 pm

    Don’t know if we’ll ever know the truth. One things for sure. Somebody serious laid the hit on them. It sounds like the drug business or a govt section ordered it. It could also be retaliation for resistance to mob influence. Hope someone really gets to the bottom of it and let us know. Im very curious. This story has all kinds of Hollywood movie written ALL OVER IT.. hint hint!

  3. RRR on July 23rd, 2009 8:29 pm

    To all of you who think the Billings shouldn’t be discussed because they are the victims, I can only say one thing…None of us are without blemish.

    No doubt the murderers should be punished to the full extent of the law. Full extent!

    But let us also keep in mind, that there is much more to this story as we have witnessed in the media reporting thus far.

    With what I know about the state of Florida and their Department of Children and Family, the problem with child abuse and neglect at the hand of social workers, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Billings had something on the state of Florida. If this is the case the state could have ordered the hit on the Billings.

    Had anyone considered that fact? Put all of the reports together and it looks like the Billings had something on the state agency. Some how, Gonzalez was privy to this information.

    I’m not sure how but this is just my take on this. This would be the only reason why Billings would copyright the names of his adopted children. Although the state assisted him with funds to take care of the children, he obviously did not trust them. Just research the problems with Florida’s abuse of children at the hands of the state and you’ll understand.

    I think the Billings were a patriots who really cared about those children. I’m leaning more towards this being a hit on the couple because of something Billings took to his grave about the agency.

  4. V on July 23rd, 2009 6:59 am

    I wonder why Byrd didn’t just use a safe deposit box at a bank?

  5. myaunt on July 22nd, 2009 5:18 pm

    I have read all the comments from people who are neither related or know personally the suspects of this horrible crime. It is easy to comment on the mentality of the “mastermind” Patrick Gonzales, Jr. if you have never known him before this incident. Although no one including me would ever condone or even resolve anything with taking another persons life. But he as a father and as a man who has worked with other’s children acted out in a way that many of us may have considered or even voiced had we believed our children may be in harms way. Strangely enough we would be the first to say ” I would kill that person if they ever laid a hand on my child!” Yet in our minds we do know right from wrong and would not really do this. Pat grew up being taught right from wrong but in his life has lost his way due to allowing a “deadbeat father” to once again be in his life and influence all the things he learned as a young man. I do not blame Leonard Gonzales, Sr. for the choice that Patrick made but I feel his judgement could have been swayed from this crime if this FATHER was aware of what was going on and also present at the time. As a grown man Patrick will be held accountable for his choices but why can’t we as parents be held accountable for the examples we set for them?

  6. Jennifer on July 22nd, 2009 9:41 am

    I don’t know that it is always true that you die in the life that you lead. Plenty of innocent people lose their lives and livelihoods as the result of someone else’s selfish actions. Think of children who die at the hand of an abuser, or kidnapper. An elderly person mugged, victims of arson, etc., etc. You get the idea.

    I think this info regarding the Billings should be published not to find some justification for the heinous act committed against them, but to get a sense of how the minds of criminals such as the killers work, to better protect ourselves.

    If that makes any sense!

  7. The Truth on July 21st, 2009 10:52 am

    You know it’s funny how people say let them rest. I think and see how Michael Jackson is being talked about on the news, trust me both the Billings and MJ need to be laid to rest in peace but the Truth is the truth, Did they really take the Kids out the kindness of there hearts or did they take the Kids for the money? The death was so horrible, but you die in the life you live. Who knows this case may just be Drug related. Let them do the investigation and find out the truth. I love NORTHESCAMBIA, Let them print both sides of the Story.

  8. SthrnWhtCrckr on July 21st, 2009 9:54 am

    Daniel Healy stated…..
    Northescambia.com, what is the reason for publishing this trivial story?
    These were wonderful, giving people who were brutally murdered.
    Why tarnish Byrd Billing’s memory?

    Leave them alone and let the family grieve in peace!
    There is nothing to be gained by releasing this story. It does appear
    on the Escambia Court’s website becuase it is public information.
    So what?

    NORTHESCAMBIA.COM IS THE ONLY NEWSPAPER WHERE YOU WILL GET THE FACTS……WE ALSO LIVE IN A “FREE” COUNTRY CALLED THE “USA.” AS STATED EARLIER IN A POST….IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU SEE THEN DON’T READ IT, SIMPLE AS THAT……..YES, THERE IS MORE TO THIS STORY THEN WHAT IS COMING OUT NOW…..SOON WE WILL ALL KNOW THE TRUTH!

  9. NeNe on July 20th, 2009 7:14 pm

    Why are you all referring to these people as animals?? I’m sure that most of you have children. You raised them to the best of your ability. If one of yours go out and commit a crime, are they animals? Be careful what you say the words sometime come back and bite you. God is a forgiving God. He does not classify sin in categories. There is no big sin or little sin. We have all sin and come short of the glory of God. He is the only judge. Stop pointing fingers and start praying one for another and maybe this world will be a better place to live. I admit this is an unthinkable crime. The devil has found a way to use these people. He is out to kill, steal and destroy. Let us learn to walk together ,love one another and when one fall give the other a lift. Let’s try and live Christ like. When you are face with situations ask yourself, what would Jesus do? He would turn the other cheek. He would forgive. We are not the judge of any of these people. Think before you speak.

  10. Dave on July 20th, 2009 5:33 pm

    All this talk of sinful and saintliness seems irrelevant. The man and his wife took in children and they were killed because of the greed of others.

  11. Jennifer on July 20th, 2009 5:08 pm

    I’m not from Florida/Alabama at all, but believe me, I am checking this site daily. Why? Because I, like many, many families in America, am horrified that things like this happen, and want any shred of information I can get to 1) be informed of what when on here so I can take every precaution to protect my own to the best of my ability from such a horror (though it sounds like the Billings did this, above and beyond the norm), and 2) there’s that quote by John Donne, “Any man’s death diminishes me”…this feels like it happened to someone in my neighborhood, and I feel like I have to connect to do these two people justice; they most definitely did NOT deserve what they got, and I want to know exactly what will happen to the wretches that did this to them.

    It is so unfathomable to think a couple with all these kids, in their home in the evening, would have randomly be picked out to be plotted against and attacked, for a safe full of what seems like pittance. I mean, that just scares me to death. What is this world coming to? While I don’t want to read any bad details regarding the victims, I do want to make sense of this crime, as senseless as it seems to be. It is decidely selfish, but the not knowing the details on stories such as these is what keeps me up in the night. So I guess I appreciate any breaking news on the subject, as long as sensitivity is given to this poor family.

  12. DebMc on July 20th, 2009 1:44 pm

    This adoption case was 20 years ago, before Bud & Melanie were married. I didn’t know these people, but perhaps Melanie was responsible, in part, for a change in Bud’s life. God is a forgiver and forgetter of sins. Maybe we should all forget about these things that happened so long ago in the past. Of the people who knew them in recent years, there were only good things said about the Billings. I choose to believe they are with Jesus Christ now.

  13. judy on July 20th, 2009 11:40 am

    SLB has it exactly right…good insight!….you can voice your varied opinions (praise God, we do live in America!!), just dont be rude about it…

  14. S.L.B on July 20th, 2009 9:11 am

    There are MANY who knew the Billling’s and their family and then their are many of us who have NEVER even heard of them until the moment we all heard about their unfortunate murders on television.

    It seems to me that we all are saddened about what has happened and wouldn’t wish that on even our worst enemy and I believe we are all trying to find ways to understand why such a tragic thing happened to them.

    But in order to do that, we are gonna naturally analyze things in our own way and take the information and facts presented to us and combine it with our instincts, thoughts and opinions. Through that process it may be somewhat hurtful to those who are close to the family, but it is our right to express our thoughts, opinions and beliefs, I would just hope that it’s done in a manner that shows respect to the innocent family and friends that are involved through association.

    Listen, we the locals didn’t ask for this to happen and for it to become the topic of the hour, everyday, on every channel. Everywhere we look, there it is! So naturally at some point, we are gonna give our input on the topic whether it’s in person with one another or on a site like Northescambia.com. And whatever our opinions are….good or bad, it’s our right to express them without being belittled or chastized for them. So please don’t make it personal and if you don’t like that people are gonna do that, then don’t read the comment section.

  15. tinker on July 20th, 2009 7:31 am

    Oh Lord help THEM ALL………..

  16. Sandman on July 19th, 2009 9:28 pm

    Sounds like ol byrd was a crook himself

  17. concerned citzen on July 19th, 2009 6:05 pm

    Are you guys serious, blaming the kids?, th rest of the family? Get a grip, he posted this story which by the way is FACT, to show all sides. If the river runs deep then they as in the POLICE can figure out the motive of why they (the CROOKS) did this.

    The Police need to figure out the WHO WHAT WHERE and near the end the WHY.

    You guys, filled with all your knowlage,become cops. Become reporters. NO, ok then stay in your house, shut up and just watch the news. PRAY FOR THE KIDS who didnt deserve this whether there is corruption on both sides.

  18. roy rogers on July 19th, 2009 8:51 am

    did anyone hear the sheriff,this case will clear things up in 2 to4 weeks. i believe if he[sheriff] is correct,we will get the whole story.let this family morn,it is rough to take children in, and love them as your own and the children are severly diabled. please folks pray for the children and leave all speculation to the side for now.God bless this family, roy

  19. bmb on July 19th, 2009 8:23 am

    Don’t shoot the messenger, he is just bringing the facts for everybodies review and opinion.

  20. me on July 19th, 2009 2:08 am

    Animals is what the suspects are being called. This is so strange animals sometimes eat there born. These “animals” did nothing to these children. I Probably will never understand how if they are so evil why was nothing at all done to them? Maybe im the one with a problem for not understanding that. Or it could be that to many people in the world would have. Also If the “mastermind” had such a shady past WHY was he working with children does noone check that stuff? And why did’nt the people that knew he was so Evil ever say anything about him working around children? All children are important because they need adults to protect them when needed you know warn them of evil. I guess some people like children to learn on there own. But we all need to remember nomatter who we are there is something “shady” about us we might not want to remember though. I pray for all of the children in this. No one should ever say anything bad about there parents to them no matter what the truth is.

  21. me on July 19th, 2009 1:41 am

    So many children have lost parents in this case, it is very sad for all of them. It is so strange that none of the children in the house was hurt But I am so thankful that no harm was done. so many things could have been done. At least we dont have to worry about those 7 men hurting an innocent child, unlike what could have happened by a true evil person. But in beulah things have always happened and eyes get turned away for what ever reason, maybe people in higher rankings are scared that the truth in there past will also come out. Maybe if the police in Beulah would do there jobs and understand thats more important than money or friends our drug problems would become less open. When is the last time a drug raid was done out here in beulah.HAHA ok us in Beulah know it will never happen. Does anyone know if the Eddins man from the state is kin to Odie? I Hate that this had to happen to people and so many children have lost parents. I also hope drugs did not cause this to happen if it did so many more people are to blame, even if it was for just not doing nothing!!! I doubt this will be printed But please understand that people in Beulah havent never let all of the truth out and us younger ones no not to talk

  22. moeursalen on July 19th, 2009 12:24 am

    Adoption Assistance is a federally subsidized program which can exceed payments even from SSI. Adoption assistance payments do not require a child to be disabled or developmentally impaired. Just adding a point to the discussion. Meanwhile, I would like to think the best of the victims. Unfortunately, long experience has influenced me to sometimes expect the worst…

    We’ll see, I guess…

  23. Adrien Lamarre on July 18th, 2009 10:48 pm

    I knew “Bud” from the old days when he ran the “Backseat”. He was a good man even back then, fair, friendly, honest, and kind. I was the photographer at his second wedding. I knew him for about 5-years before I lost touch with him. He didn’t take all those kids for money as someone said, he took the kids for love, that’s the kind of person he was.
    It’s sad when bad things happen to good people, and from what I knew of “Bud” he was a good person. The day I met him he made me feel like a friend.

  24. art on July 18th, 2009 10:27 pm

    V you don’t see the transition from being a sinner to becoming a christian a natural one? well, perhaps it isn’t but as i recall these things do happen. christ didn’t die for saints (like you?) he died for sinners and i may be wrong but it makes god’s heart glad when a sinner repents. oh and for your information all children are precious in god’s sight, black white or those with special needs or those whose parents own pawn shops. so glad you aren’t my judge, V.

  25. wendy on July 18th, 2009 9:31 pm

    Let’s remember the kid’s are innocent in all this terrible mess no matter who the parents are. Also the Billings may have deserved to be punished by the law but not by the hands of the animals who killed them. It took special people to take in that many special needs children and love and support them the way the Billings did so let’s not look down our noses before we know exactly the shoes they walked in.

  26. dg on July 18th, 2009 9:25 pm

    Children with disabilities may qualify for social security. So, it’s possible that they did receive aid for their adoption of each child.
    From the social security website:

    Your child must meet all of the following requirements to be considered disabled and therefore eligible for SSI:

    *

    The child must not be working and earning more than $980 a month in 2009. (This earnings amount changes every year.) If he or she is working and earning that much money, we will find that your child is not disabled.
    *

    The child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means that the condition(s) must very seriously limit your child’s activities.
    *

    The child’s condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 months; or must be expected to result in death.

    If your child’s condition(s) results in “marked and severe functional limitations” for at least 12 continuous months, we will find that your child is disabled. But if it does not result in those limitations, or does not last for at least 12 months, we will find that your child is not disabled.

  27. V on July 18th, 2009 6:46 pm

    OMG, I just read the cases you’ve cited here. It looks as if, whoever the REAL FATHER IS, his child was delivered by The Court to Byrd Billings. Is spite of the NOLO, Byrd and Melanie were allowed to keep that child. Probably the Bio dad was told, over and over and over, to forget about it, and move on. SOME PEOPLE NEVER FORGET–THEY’RE CALLED VICTIMS.

  28. V on July 18th, 2009 6:16 pm

    I read, early in this matter, that Patrick Gonzales is the father of 7. Six of the children are with him, but, supposedly, according to what I read, he was searching for a missing child. Maybe HE considered a birth certificate MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY. I just don’t see a natural transition from topless bar, pawn shops, used cars, and used car financing, to church and saintly deeds. I don’t like the alleged justification for having cameras all over the house, because it reminds me of Michael Jackson. Come to think of it, the kids remind me of MJ, too. Black children do not grow up to have white children.

  29. me on July 18th, 2009 3:09 pm

    maybe they weren’t that wealthy, and maybe they were just in debt!.

  30. John on July 18th, 2009 2:57 pm

    Please folks…lets be careful here NOT to blame the victims.
    There is nothing those people did in the past that deserved the way they perished.They both died a horrible death by the hands of murdering animals.

    Let’s keep this report in perspective.

  31. Daniel Healy on July 18th, 2009 2:15 pm

    Northescambia.com, what is the reason for publishing this trivial story?
    These were wonderful, giving people who were brutally murdered.
    Why tarnish Byrd Billing’s memory?

    Leave them alone and let the family grieve in peace!
    There is nothing to be gained by releasing this story. It does appear
    on the Escambia Court’s website becuase it is public information.
    So what?

  32. art on July 18th, 2009 1:50 pm

    emma, if people could get rich adopting special needs children, wouldn’t every one be on the band wagon? the articles i have read state that they owned several businesses around town. and sometimes people make mistakes especially when they are desperate to have children. it doesn’t make them “shady” characters. how did you construe “drug dealings” from this article? why are people so quick to assume the worst in others?

  33. emma on July 18th, 2009 11:04 am

    could byrd and melanie have been collecting a ton of money from the state to help take care of the kids and that’s where their money came from really since they weren’t independently wealthy. and perhaps other shady dealings like drug dealing?? this is weird.

  34. C on July 18th, 2009 8:54 am

    There will be more stories like this to come in regards to this murder. Just stay tuned….

  35. art on July 18th, 2009 8:19 am

    omg i hope when i die all my dirt isnt made public the moment im laid to rest.





Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.