It was the 2nd of December 2016. A Friday. Twenty eight year old Danielle Stislicki had a busy weekend ahead. She was scheduled to work on the Saturday and on Sunday, she had plans to help decorate her grandparent's Christmas tree. But that night, the Friday night, she made plans to meet her best friend Sarah Pollack after work for dinner.
Danielle left work at 5pm and sent a text message to Sarah:
"I got off early, I just need to stop home quickly and I'm on my way."
Sarah responded at 5.30pm:
"Yeah, I called in. Are you alive? LOL. Weird I haven't heard from you, you're making me worried."
Sarah waited for Danielle for a while and when she didn't arrive, she called her a few times but it went straight to voicemail. Sarah thought that Danielle fell asleep when she stopped off at her apartment in Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States, to get changed.
Danielle was due in work at MetLife in Southfield on the Saturday morning at 8am but she didn't show up and nobody heard from her. Colleagues and friends called but their calls went to voicemail and their texts went unanswered. Sarah went to Danielle's apartment. Her black 2015 Jeep Renegade was parked outside. She knocked on the door but there was no answer so Sarah contacted Danielle's parents, Rich and Ann Stislicki, to let them know that she hadn't heard from Danielle.
Ann worked with Danielle at MetLife and was deeply concerned so they called police as they drove over to their daughter's apartment. The fact that Danielle didn't meet her friend for dinner or go to work was completely uncharacteristic of her. Danielle's Jeep was locked and her purse, money, identification and credit cards were inside which was unusual. They entered her apartment. The only things that appeared to be missing, apart from Danielle, were her cellphone, keys and the clothes she wore to work. Her cat was still inside the apartment. There was nothing out of place and nothing that indicated there had been any foul play of any sort.
Police spoke to those in Danielle's life and her coworkers. Some of them recalled seeing Danielle leaving the office on Friday at 5pm. She had her Jeep with her that day at work. So did she drive home that night as she planned to get changed? Her Jeep was found parked just eight feet from her front door.
Police discovered, through talking to Danielle's coworkers, that Danielle stopped to help someone in the car park outside the office after work on Friday. The person she helped had the hood of their car up and they identified him as thirty two year old Floyd Galloway. They knew Floyd as he was employed by a company contracted to provide security for MetLife. Danielle knew him also.
Danielle's mother Ann also knew Floyd through her job at MetLife. She believed that Danielle was uncomfortable around him and she saw him around her daughter a lot. Ann said:
“Her and I would meet in the cafeteria on her floor, and we would have lunch together and he would appear there.”
That said, it was a cold night that Friday night when Danielle left work so it would not be unusual for her to help someone if their car had broken down and if they were in need of some help.
Police spoke to Floyd and searched his house in Berkley. Farmington Hills Detective Ryan Molloy asked him about Danielle. Floyd told him that he had heard from a friend that Danielle was missing. When asked when he had last seen Danielle, he told police that he last saw her several months earlier. Detective Molloy said that during the conversation, Floyd was "stand-offish and stared at a wall.” Detective Molloy gave him a business card so that Floyd could contact him if he remembered anything and noted that Floyd's “hands were shaking” when he took the card. Police also spoke to Floyd's wife. She was in hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatment when Danielle went missing.
Police removed a number of items for evidential reasons from his home but Danielle was not there and police had no idea where she was. But, in an unexpected development, through their search for Danielle, they managed to link Floyd to another crime, one that was completely unrelated to Danielle's case. And he pleaded guilty to that charge. Floyd admitted to sexually assaulting a jogger at Hines Park in Livonia. That attack happened less than three months before Danielle went missing. He punched the jogger, choked her and tried to rape her but she managed to escape.
Floyd pleaded guilty to kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. A charge of assault with intent to murder was dropped. He was sentenced to 16 to 35 years in prison.
Police continued to investigate Danielle's disappearance and even though she still had not been found, they built a case against Floyd. He was charged with premeditated first degree murder. At the preliminary examination, to hear evidence to see if there is sufficient evidence to go to Trial, the Court heard some of the evidence that the Prosecution has against Floyd.
It was the Prosecution's case that Danielle drove her Jeep to Floyd's house in Berkely to drop him home as he told her his car had broken down. It was their case that Danielle was murdered inside his home and then he drove her Jeep back to her apartment and parked it outside. The Prosecution argued that the evidence also showed the murder was premeditated.
The Court heard that the day before Danielle went missing, the 1st of December, Floyd called work to let them know that he would not be at work the next day.
The Court heard from a number of witnesses. Brandon Williams, a coworker of Danielle’s, testified that he saw Danielle and Floyd on the Friday evening. He testified that he saw them leave the car park together in Danielle's Jeep. He told the Court that he was driving away from the MetLife building in Southfield when he saw Floyd sitting in the passenger seat of Danielle's Jeep.
Other coworkers saw Danielle standing in the MetLife parking lot talking to a man fitting Floyd’s description. The Court heard that he had the hood of his vehicle raised as if he was having engine trouble.
Prosecutors showed surveillance video to the Court of a Jeep that they believe was Danielle's Jeep heading toward Floyd's home the night of her disappearance. They highlighted a "very significant dirt area on her Jeep" which they say indicates that it was Danielle's Jeep. It was the Prosecution's case that once they reached Floyd's house in Berkley, Danielle was murdered and Floyd drove her Jeep back to her apartment and parked it outside. It was their case that he then walked to a Tim Horton's restaurant and called a cab.
Surveillance footage from Tim Horton's restaurant showed Floyd asking to use the phone. It was the Prosecution's case that the call he placed at the restaurant was to the cab company to order a cab. Silvia Morris, a cab driver, testified that she picked up a fare at a Tim Horton’s restaurant at Grand River and 10 Mile, less than a mile from Danielle's apartment and dropped him off across the street from MetLife. The Prosecution claimed he wanted to be dropped off back there so that he could collect his car from the car park.
Silvia identified Floyd in a photo lineup. When asked to describe how he was in the cab, she said that he was “calm and low key” and he told her that he was visiting his girlfriend and needed to get a cab as his “car was broken.”
Danielle's keys and FitBit were found outside less than a mile away from the Tim Horton's where Floyd was spotted on a surveillance video. The Prosecution argued that Floyd dropped them there on his walk back from her apartment to the Tim Horton's that he visited that night. They were dropped between the two locations.
The Court heard testimony from Oakland County Medical Examiner Dr. Ljubisa J. Dragovich. He testified that he believed Danielle was dead despite the fact her body had not been found. He testified that he believed she died as a result of asphyxiation and told the Court that he came to his conclusion through evidence collected by police and common sense.
Floyd's Defense lawyer, Sharon Woodside, asked the Medical Examiner how he could determine the cause of death when a body has never been found:
The Medical Examiner testified that he ruled Danielle's death a homicide based on evidence that shows Danielle was violently assaulted.
Ann testified that a few months before her daughter disappeared, Danielle received flowers and a handwritten note at work:
The Court heard testimony from a handwriting expert and they determined that the note had been written by Floyd.
Some of the other evidence police found was presented. An Investigator testified that DNA of both Danielle and Floyd was found on a carpet swath. The Court heard that cell phone records placed Floyd near MetLife and Danielle's apartment the night of the 2nd of December. Cell phone records placed Danielle's phone at the cell tower beside Floyd’s house in Berkley. There was also evidence presented that a search was carried out on Floyd's computer for "how to pass a polygraph."
Evidence that the Prosecution presented to the Court included a receipt and video surveillance from two days after Danielle's disappearance. They say that it showed Floyd in a Bed Bath & Beyond in Beverly Hills purchasing a white comforter. Detective Molloy said:
The Court also heard about a patch of carpet that was replaced in Floyd's master bedroom. There were carpet remnants in the trash.They argued that those details, namely the carpet being replaced and a new comforter purchased, just days after Danielle went missing are relevant to the circumstances of her disappearance and the charges Floyd faces.
Floyd's Defense argued that the evidence is merely circumstantial. They told the Court that the fact that he was at a Tim Horton's near Danielle's apartment was a coincidence only.
The jogger that Floyd assaulted addressed the Court. She wished to remain anonymous but wanted to speak at the preliminary examination in relation to Danielle's case and she told the Court:
The jogger managed to escape and flagged down a driver who was driving past the park. She called 911 and provided a detailed description of the man to the police.
The 47th District Court Judge James Brady ruled there was sufficient evidence for a Trial to proceed.
While the testimony of the jogger was heard at the preliminary examination, it will not be heard at Floyd's Trial in relation to Danielle's murder as a Court of Appeals ruled that Floyd's admission that he sexually attacked a jogger cannot be introduced in as evidence and was ruled as non-admissible.
The Prosecution argued that the attack on the jogger showed a common plan or scheme and they claimed there was a striking similarity between the case of the jogger and Danielle's case. They further argued that it should be admissible to show Floyd's motive, intent, lack of accident, identity and common scheme.
But the Appeals Court disagreed. They rejected it based on their findings that there was no striking similarity between the attack on the jogger and Danielle's disappearance.
The ruling means that when he goes on Trial for Danielle's murder, his guilty plea in the jogger case can not be addressed in Court and the Jury cannot hear about it.
Floyd is due to stand Trial in 2021.