Isaac Tiharihondi made an appearance in a Hinds County, Mississippi, court room this morning. The 19-year-old waived extradition, and will return to Harris County within days.
Wearing an orange jail house uniform, Tiharihondi showed no emotion as he stood in front of a judge for the brief hearing. He was arrested early yesterday morning at the Diamond Inn Motel in Jackson, Mississippi. A receipt from the hotel shows Tiharihondi paid for at least one night's stay with his dead father's credit card.
Outside the Hinds County jail, Rev. William Ndishadandi tried to visit the young man. He said he knew the family, and couldn't believe that Isaac was charged with killing his parents.
"The Isaac I see now is not the Isaac I expected. This is a boy who was a yes boy, who was an introvert person. He's a young man I've never seen, doing things aggressively," said the priest.
Episcopal Priest Israel Ahimbisibwe, his wife, Dorcus, and their five-year-old son, Jay, were all found dead in their west Houston home Monday. Court records filed Wednesday say the couple planned to confront their 19-year-old son on the day they were murdered. A Houston police investigator said in an affidavit that Tiharihondi told friends and family that he had joined the Marines and was leaving at the end of the month.
But, according to the investigator, the parents didn't believe him and planned to confront him on Tuesday, January 29, the day police believe they, along with their 5-year-old son, were murdered.
According to HPD, representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps said they had no record of the suspect ever enlisting in the Marines.
Friends who saw the suspect after the murders told police that the suspect appeared to be normal and not nervous, even going to lunch with a friend and making what police believe was a "fake" phone call to his mother, who was dead.
"When I let him out at his house in front, I leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek and said 'good luck,'" said Nancy Taylor, a fellow church member. "And he said 'thank you for the day.'"
Taylor and fellow churchgoer Peggy Fergus often hosted the suspect and his family at their home for dinner.
Fergus says the accusations are completely out of character for the suspect and can only explain what he is accused of doing by saying "he had a psychotic episode or whatever you call it when something like that happens."
The bodies of Tiharhondi's parents and 5-year-old brother were eventually found on February 2. Tiharihondi is accused of using a hammer to beat his parents to death and then taking a knife to his 5-year-old brother, who neighbors say he walked to school every day. A maintenance worker found the bodies wrapped in blankets. This neighbor, who didn't want her face shown, says she spoke with Tiharihondi on last Thursday.
"I asked him about his brother because he didn't show for school," a neighbor recalled. "He said he's not well."
But investigators say that by then, the family had already been viciously murdered.
Houston Police and the FBI tracked Tiharihondi to New Orleans and Mississippi, where he used his father's credit card to pay for a motel room. He was arrested and detained in the Hinds County jail in Raymond, Mississippi. Isaac is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning, though it is unclear at this point how long it will take before he is extradited back to Houston.