Tragic Deception in Palm Bay: Teen Fakes Burglary After Allegedly Murdering Mother and Her Boyfriend

Palm Bay, FL — A horrific scene unfolded in a quiet Palm Bay neighborhood where a 16-year-old girl is accused of the premeditated murder of her mother and the mother’s boyfriend. According to police, the teenager orchestrated a deceitful plan, initially reporting a fictitious home invasion to 911 operators.

The incident, which took place late Saturday night at their Benchor Road residence, resulted in the deaths of Kelley McCollom, 41, and Matthew Szejnrok, 22, each found with multiple gunshot wounds. The girl allegedly greeted them with a chilling “Welcome home,” before fatally shooting McCollom and attacking Szejnrok with both gunshots and stab wounds.

Detectives pieced together the sequence of events through meticulous forensic analysis, discovering the teen had stolen a .38-caliber handgun from her mother’s bedroom prior to the killings. They combined this evidence with the bloody footprints and a bloodstained knife found at the scene, which matched the teen’s belongings and physical evidence, to charge her with the murders.

The suspect was taken into custody and appeared before a juvenile judge shortly after. She has been detained at the Juvenile Detention Center in Sharpes, and authorities are considering charging her as an adult due to the gravity of the crimes.

This tragedy has opened up discussions about the history of domestic issues within the household. Interviews revealed that McCollom and Szejnrok previously engaged in tumultuous disputes, which at times involved law enforcement intervention.

The Palm Bay Police Department is delving deeper into the motives behind the killings, with early speculations centering on long-standing domestic conflicts and the teen’s disapproval of her mother’s relationship. They are also examining how a previous incident of domestic violence involving McCollom and the teen’s biological father might have contributed to the deteriorating family dynamics.

This case coincides with an alarming uptrend in family-related homicides in Palm Bay, marking the second such incident in just a week. The community, still reeling from a recent case where a 23-year-old man was charged with the murder of his father, is now forced to confront the grim reality of intrafamilial violence that has escalated to deadly consequences.

Local authorities and community leaders have urged the public to support violence prevention programs and are advocating for heightened awareness and interventions for at-risk families. As the investigation continues, the Palm Bay community seeks answers and healing, hoping for measures that will prevent such tragedies in the future.

The 16-year-old awaits a forthcoming hearing, which will likely determine the trajectory of her prosecution and whether she will face charges as an adult. Meanwhile, the community mourns the loss of life and grapples with the unsettling breach of their peace and safety.