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Murder suspect Holly Colino indicted

by Tori Martinez - Managing Editor
Tue, Sep 5th 2017 11:00 pm

Holly Colino, the suspect charged with the murder of Megan Dix of Lyndonville, has been indicted on at least one charge by a grand jury. The vote came Friday, Sept. 1, exactly one week after Dix was found dead in her pickup truck, parked in a lot near the train tracks on South Avenue, with a single gunshot in her head.

At the time this article was written, Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti said it was unclear which charges Colino was indicted on. She was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies. 

Police say Dix, who worked at the Lowe's Home Improvement store on Owens Road, went on a lunch break around 1 p.m. the day she was killed. It was her husband who found her truck at the local park around 8 p.m. At the time, authorities originally believed Dix's murder was not a random act of violence; such is a rarity. However, Police say Dix and Colino did not know each other and had never met before. Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn called it a "random, heinous act."

"[Colino] gave no reason for why that situation occurred," O'Flynn said. "She met the individual and within seconds of meeting her, she discharged her weapon."

Colino was charged Tuesday, Aug. 29, a day after she was arrested at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites on Jefferson Road in Henrietta. Authorities say she was arrested after allegedly pointing a gun at a Sticky Lips BBQ employee next door. Once in custody at the sheriff's Zone B substation on Summit Point Drive in Henrietta, Colino managed to slip out of her handcuffs and escape. Police say they found her about 100 yards from where she initially fled, hiding behind a menu sign at the Wendy's on the corner of West Henrietta Road and Lehigh Station Road, but not until more than two hours later. In a staff report by the Democrat & Chronicle titled "Holly Colino: Details begin to emerge on arrest, escape and graffiti," the organization reported that John Helfer, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff's office, said there is an internal investigation into her escape. Varrenti said her arrest and escape in Henrietta is what led to her confession of Dix's death. 

When Dix was first found, Brockport police held a press conference, asking anyone who might have any information about the suspect to step forward. Multiple calls came in, suggesting a black, Toyota type vehicle with a matte finish had been near the area Dix was found. When arrested in Henrietta, Colino was found with a car of a similar description. Varrenti says two guns were found in the car, one of which was a .380 semi-automatic pistol, both of which were legally obtained by Colino in Arizona. So when a Brockport officer, whose name Varrenti did not disclose, heard the alert released by deputies that Colino escaped and may be with said vehicle and weapons, BPD sent investigators to interview her in Henrietta, despite Varrenti's skepticism that Colino was the suspect he was looking for. Varrenti says Colino then admitted to killing Dix in the interview.

Had Colino not admitted to the murder, Varrenti says police would have done extensive background checks on Dix's family members, friends and anyone who may have seemed like they had a motive to kill her. It would have been months before police decided it was a random murder.

It's still unclear why Colino was in the area, although she has strong ties to the Rochester region. Police say Colino had been living in Arizona the past few years and had driven back to the Brockport area three days before Dix's death. The D&C reported that before moving to Arizona, Colino lived in Brockport and Rochester. In an article titled "Holly Colino: From smiling teenager to disturbed woman accused of killing Megan Dix," the D&C reported that she attended Rochester East High School, but dropped out after her sophomore year. It also reported that after earning a GED diploma, she attended Monroe Community College from spring 2005 through fall 2007, and she lived in Brockport from 2011 to 2014, where she attended The College at Brockport during the spring 2011 and fall 2012 semesters. 

While at Brockport, Colino had a few different interations with both University Police and BPD. She called BPD on five separate occasions, none of which were criminal in nature, Varrenti said. 

"Back then, the contacts to us were all about her being harassed by other people," Varrenti said. 

Colino was also escorted out of a lecture here at the college after she interrupted a guest speaker, internationally-known death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean. A video on the college's YouTube channel shows Colino standing in front of a stage, yelling and demanding that Prejean stop spreading lies, disregarding the separation of church and state, and soliciting Roman Catholicism. Although Colino's name was not mentioned, The Stylus reported about the incident on March 5, 2012. 

Aside from Dix's alleged, unexplained murder, Colino was involved in other bizarre incidents. Her YouTube channel and Facebook profile are full of videos and posts harassing and following women, claiming that women are following her, imitating her, trying to become her. Most of her posts are rambling and incoherent. She calls many women "fakers" and "imitators," claiming that they're trying to "steal her beauty" by mimicking her hair, lips and eyebrows, sometimes saying that some women will even go as far to change their noses and chins to look like her. On her Blogspot profile, she claims that "trillions" of people have "unjustly and unlawfully used and abused" her personality and looks, including celebrities Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kate Winslet, and fictional characters Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" and Lara Croft from the game and movie series "Tomb Raider." 

Police and community members around the area have found also graffiti linked to Colino, spread throughout Rochester, and most recently, here in Brockport. A few known areas include the outdoor basketball court at the East Rochester school complex, a barrier alongside an exit ramp on Interstate 490, a wall of the First Baptist Church of East Rochester, and along the Erie Canal just outside of the Village of Brockport, as reported and pictured by the D&C and News 10 WHEC.

Varrenti says at this point, Colino is entitled to a number of different pre-trial hearings, including a Huntley hearing, probable cause hearing and possibly a gardiner hearing. Colino's case is only just beginning. A Huntly hearing is a New York State pretrial hearing that reviews the way in which police officers obtain statements from the defendent, which in this case, is Colino's alleged confession. The Gardiner hearing would serve to  settle any dispute between the parties in regards to facts.

"We're a long way away from a final determination in this," Varrenti said. 

brockport.editor@gmail.com