Savannah-Chatham Metro police investigators still are not saying exactly how 67-year-old Willie Floyd Kelly died Wednesday and have yet to file any charges. Kelly was found dead inside a home in the 4,000 block of Skidaway Road – between Fleet Street and Brevard Circle in East Savannah after what investigators are calling a "domestic dispute" inside the home. They've questioned the woman who they say was involved in the fight, who reportedly is Kelly's ex-girlfriend.
On Saturday, WTOC went to the home where Kelly lived and died. That house doesn't belong to him; Chatham County property tax records show it as owned by a Carolyn Brown.
Carolyn Brown's daughter, Chrishonda Brown says Willie Floyd Kelly has been a part of her mother's life for as long as she can remember. The couple broke up over and over again. But Chrishonda said Kelly kept coming back "because he knew she would take him in."
Her family says this last time, the two didn't become romantically involved. They say Carolyn took Kelly in because he didn't have anywhere else to go.
"She doesn't turn her back on anyone -- man, woman, child," Kearia Brown, Carolyn's granddaughter, said. If she knows you really need help, she'll help you."
Chrishonda and her four children shared the brick home on Skidaway road with Carolyn and Kelly. She said Kelly was gentle and kind to her children. They called him "G." She never thought he'd hurt her mother while the kids were around. But Wednesday, things started off badly.
"She told me earlier that day he looked at her, and it was a look she'd never seen before," Chrishonda said, "like she was just seeing somebody else, and he said, 'You just don't know how much I hate you.'"
Harsh words turned darker that night. The children -- ranging in age from 1 to 12 -- were there. Chrishonda was out grocery shopping.
"When he hit her the first time, he said, 'I know I'm going to jail, so I might as well finish this," Chrishonda said.
Chrishonda's sister called to tell her to hurry home. Someone was hurt badly. She didn't know who. Police tape crisscrossed the yard. Chrishonda couldn't get inside. She counted her children's heads through a window. That left two people unaccounted for -- Kelly and her mother.
"We're close," Chrishonda said. "We've had our mother-daughter tit for tat, but at the end of the day, that's my mother, and oh boy. I didn't realize how much I loved my Mama until I wasn't sure she was gonna walk out that door."
Police have not confirmed the family's reports of ongoing domestic violence. All they're saying is there was a "dispute" in the house that night. Online Chatham County court records show several charges against Kelly dating back to 1989 --But none of them are violent.
The Brown family says they're slowly recovering from the ordeal.
"My son, he really does not want to talk about it at all," Chrishonda said. "He's kind of withdrawn right now. My three-year-old, she basically said something to the effect of Mr. Kelly hit her grandma, and he's not her friend anymore."