After the brutal murders, the two girls scoured the house for money and jewelry, and found only the latter, which they placed in a bag along with some clothes and other items. They then grabbed Carls car keys and took off in his dark blue 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. The two blood-soaked girls immediately drove to Griffin, Georgia and telephoned a friend named Sara P. (last name undisclosed), 16. They then went to her house. While there, Holly and Sandy explained that they had been mugged to account for the blood on their clothes, Sara later explained in an interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. After the girls washed up and changed their clothes, Holly told Sara what really happened. Upon hearing the truth, Sara ordered the girls to leave her house and then informed her parents of the alleged murder.
Sara P. on TV with Diane Sawyer
A short while later, Sara called the police and tearfully told them what the girls had done. Following up on the call, the police immediately visited the Colliers home and found the bodies of Sarah and Carl. Shirek quoted Fayette County Sheriff Randall Johnson, who said, Ive never seen a crime this serious in 28 years that Ive been sheriff, of this magnitude, on kinfolks. An arrest warrant was secured for Holly and Sandy, and officers quickly set out to find them and the stolen truck.
In the meantime, Holly and Sandy were at the beach on Tybee Island
, located outside of Savannah, Georgia
. While there, they met two brothers, Clayton, 22, and Brett, 14, who had just moved into a new house with their parents several hours earlier. The two girls, using the pseudonyms Jessica and Casey, told the brothers they had nowhere to go, and one of the girls mentioned that her grandmother just recently passed away, according to Tracey Christensen in an August 2004 article. Christensen reports that one of the girls claimed to have her grandmothers jewelry in her possession and asked Clayton to pawn it off for her, so she and her friend would have money. However, Clayton wouldnt do it.
Having no money and nowhere to sleep, the girls asked if they could stay at the brothers house. The mother of the two young men gave permission for the girls to spend the night with the family. The next morning, those in the household awoke to more than two dozen police officers at the front door. Holly and Sandy had been traced through their mobile phone transmission signal.
The family stood in complete shock as Holly and Sandy were arrested for the murder of the Colliers. As they patted Sandy down, they discovered she had a knife in her pocket. Christensen quoted Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan of the Fayette County Sheriffs Office as saying that officers were led to believe that there was a possibility the girls planned to kill the boys mother in order to steal her car. Luckily, the family escaped injury.
At the time of the arrest, Holly surprised officers when she laughed as she walked past them. Jordan stated in his report that Holly acted callous and cocky, showing no remorse for the horrible crimes she committed. On the other hand, Sandy Ketchum did show regret for what she had done, and told officers that she would fully cooperate with them in their investigation.
Sandra Ketchum under arrest
Once the girls were in custody, the stolen truck was searched. Investigators found a bag of the girls belongings, which contained two bloodied knives and bloodstained clothes. Based on the evidence, there was little, if any, doubt that Holly and Sandy were responsible for the murders. However, what investigators and the girls families couldnt fathom was why they would commit such atrocious acts. The question was left for the state and the girls attorneys to answer.