SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — A grieving father is still seeking closure in his daughter’s murder as time keeps passing.
Next week marks three years since 40-year-old Andrew Geerts and 43-year-old Melissa Backer were found dead inside a home in Smyrna. Chazz Eckford, 19, and three juveniles were arrested in the case that is still open.
It’s been years of disbelief for Melissa’s father, William Backer.
“I just couldn’t believe it. There’s just no way I could believe it. It didn’t make any sense to me. Your children are supposed to outlive you, that’s just the way it’s supposed to be,” he explained.
It was denial from day one for William from when he received the call his daughter was murdered to learning police believed four teens were responsible.
“He shot Melissa 11 times, there was no reason for that.”
The father said the main shooter was later released on bail.
“It upsets me of course that he’s walking free and my daughter of course isn’t and her fiancé Andrew Geerts of course isn’t,” he stated.
William, hundreds of miles away in Florida, sifts through photos and family videos, holding on to memories of his little girl and the future she could have had.
“She was great, we loved her very much,” he said, adding how much she is missed.
It’s a love that now hurts as the father asks why. Answers continue to linger as the murder trial keeps getting pushed back.
“It pains me when it feels like the trial itself has been taking forever, they keep delaying it.”
The suspects, who were all teens at the time, are charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.
News 2 learned that the defense filed and was granted a motion to continue the case after learning the state was seeking an enhanced punishment of life without parole. The trial is now set for February 2024, which will be four years since the double homicide.