Floyd Galloway listens to witness testimony Sept. 9 in the 47th District Court in Farmington Hills during a pretrial hearing in the case against him for the 2016 disapperance and murder of Farmington Hills resident Danielle Stislicki.

Floyd Galloway listens to witness testimony Sept. 9 in the 47th District Court in Farmington Hills during a pretrial hearing in the case against him for the 2016 disapperance and murder of Farmington Hills resident Danielle Stislicki.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Judge: ‘Overwhelming evidence’ in Galloway case

Galloway bound over to Oakland County Circuit Court in Stislicki slaying

By: Kayla Dimick | C&G Newspapers | Published September 17, 2019

 Judge James Brady listens to testimony from Stislicki’s mother, Ann Stislicki, about the day her daughter went missing.

Judge James Brady listens to testimony from Stislicki’s mother, Ann Stislicki, about the day her daughter went missing.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Advertisement
Advertisement

FARMINGTON HILLS — The case against Berkley man Floyd Galloway in the 2016 disapperance and murder of Farmington Hills resident Danielle Stislicki has been bound over to Oakland County Circuit Court.

On Sept. 9 and 10, Galloway appeared in the 47th District Court in Farmington Hills in front of Judge James Brady for a preliminary hearing.

Galloway appeared with his legal team, defense attorneys William Mitchell and Sharon Woodside. Attorney Jaimie Powell Horowitz appeared for the prosecution.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the murder charge against Galloway during a March 5 press conference in Lansing. Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus joined Nessel in the announcement.

In December, Galloway was sentenced to 16-35 years in prison for the Sept. 4, 2016, attempted rape of a Hines Park jogger in Livonia. Prior to that arrest, in June 2017, Galloway was considered a person of interest in the Stislicki case.

Galloway is a former security guard who worked for a contracted company that previously provided security at MetLife in Southfield. According to police, Galloway was acquainted with Stislicki through work.

Stislicki was last seen Dec. 2, 2016, leaving work in Southfield, according to Farmington Hills police, but her vehicle was found at her home at the Independence Green Apartments in Farmington Hills, near Halsted Road and Grand River Avenue.

Galloway is charged with one count of first-degree premeditated murder, a felony that could carry a life sentence without parole.

Before witnesses were called to testify, Horowitz asked Brady if Stislicki’s mom and sisters could remain in the courtroom, but Brady said no because they may be called to testify.

 

‘Are you alive’
The first to take the stand was Stislicki’s best friend of 20 years, Sarah Pollack.

Pollack said she and Stislicki communicated via texting or calls every day.

On the night of Dec. 2, Pollack said, she and Stislicki had made plans for Stislicki to come over for dinner. According to texts turned over to police, Stislicki said she would be leaving work around 5 or 5:30 p.m., and then she would be over around an hour later.

“I kept texting her, and there was no response, but I thought maybe she went home and fell asleep,” Pollack said. “I work midnights, so I was up pretty much all night, and then when I woke up the next day to go to work I still hadn’t heard from her.”

Horowitz had Pollack read a text she had sent Stislicki that said, “Hey are you alive lol you’re making me worried,” but there was no response from Stislicki.

Pollack said she then went to Stislicki’s apartment and found her car parked outside. She yelled Stislicki’s name outside her bedroom window and even threw pebbles, but there was no response. Pollack said she then texted Stislicki’s sisters and asked for Stislicki’s mom, Ann, to call her.

Pollack said she was familiar with Stislicki’s dating life and that Stislicki had never mentioned Floyd Galloway.

 

‘She did not just walk away’
Next to take the stand was Stislicki’s mom, Ann Stislicki, who worked with Danielle at MetLife in Southfield, where they were both acquainted with Galloway.

Ann Stislicki said Galloway worked as a security guard at the building that housed MetLife, but that he was not working Dec. 2 because in September 2016, the building filed for bankruptcy and had to cut security services.

Ann Stislicki testified that Galloway would often leave his post to speak with Danielle, which she found odd. Her daughter was friendly with Galloway, but they were not dating. Stislicki didn’t talk about Galloway, Ann Stislicki testified.

On Dec. 3, Ann Stislicki said, she got a call from one of her daughters saying that Danielle could not be reached. She and her husband, Rich Stislicki, headed to Danielle’s apartment, where they saw her Jeep Renegade parked outside, still covered in dirt from visiting their home, which is on a dirt road.

Ann Stislicki testified that she looked inside her daughter’s vehicle and saw her purse, her work bag and a laundry basket, all clearly visible.

When they entered Danielle’s apartment with a spare key, they could not find her inside. Ann Stislicki said they noticed that Danielle’s cat was inside but had not been fed. There was food in the refrigerator and clothes in the closet, and no toiletries seemed to have been taken. They were unable to locate the keys to Danielle’s car, so they called the police.

Ann Stislicki also testified that her daughter would never leave her cat, as it was like a child to her.

She then called AAA so that she could access the contents of her daughter’s car. Inside Danielle’s purse she found her wallet with her ID and credit cards. This raised a red flag, Ann Stislicki testified.

“It was proof that we were concerned that Danielle was missing and she shouldn’t have been missing, and that she did not just walk away,” Ann Stislicki said.

After some time of Danielle being missing, Ann Stislicki said she and her husband had their daughter declared deceased.

When cleaning out her daughter’s apartment, Ann Stislicki testified, they found an old cellphone of Danielle’s, along with a handwritten note she had received with flowers at work prior to her disappearance. 

Horowitz showed a copy of the note, which was written on a piece of yellow paper: “From: Secret Admirer. Hope this made you smile today.”

Upon cross-examination, Woodside offered her condolences to Ann Stislicki before getting into questioning.

Woodside argued that Ann Stislicki should not have been called as a witness because as Danielle’s mother, she has seen some of the evidence against Woodside’s client.

Two of Danielle’s co-workers testified seeing her as she left work the night she disappeared. One walked out with her at 5:30 p.m. and saw a man in the parking lot with his car hood up, who the witness identified in court as Galloway. The co-worker saw Danielle go to speak with the man, who was looking at a gray Buick LaSabre or something similar, according to testimony. The co-worker recognized the man as someone who previously had worked in the building, and she said she found it odd that the man was wearing a suit that night.

Another co-worker left the building around 5:45 p.m. and said he saw Danielle in the driver’s seat of her Jeep with a man he identified as Galloway in the passenger seat. Danielle waited for traffic to clear so that she could turn onto Telegraph Road.

Galloway’s supervisor at Securitas in Rochester Hills testified that he was not at work the night Danielle disappeared, as he told detectives, and that he had called off work the day prior, citing a doctor’s appointment.

 

‘His hands were shaking’
Detective Ryan Malloy, of the Farmington Hills Police Department, was the on-call detective when Danielle was reported missing.

Malloy said he made contact with one of Danielle’s co-workers, who said he saw Galloway with Danielle the night she went missing.

Malloy then went to Galloway’s home on Oxford Drive in Berkley, where he lived with his wife. She was in the hospital for cancer treatment at the time, and Galloway was not there. He then went to his place of employment in Rochester Hills, where he saw Galloway’s vehicle, a dark-colored Buick with a paper license plate.

Galloway was shown a photo of Danielle and was asked if he had any information on her whereabouts. Malloy said Galloway told him his friend told him that Danielle was missing, and Galloway said the last time he had seen her was several months ago.

Galloway also told police he was working the night Danielle went missing, Malloy said.

“(His demeanor) was kind of standoffish. He wouldn’t look at us. Kind of stared off at the wall when we were talking to him,” Malloy said. “His hands were shaking.”

 

‘The most direct route’
On Dec. 7, Malloy and investigators went to Galloway’s home in Berkley to execute a search warrant and to look for any signs of Danielle.

Malloy testified that a section of carpet had been cut out and replaced, and Galloway’s trash can featured carpet scraps.

Malloy said the carpet scraps were sent to a Michigan State Police lab, where they tested positive for biological proteins.

Officer Robert Charlton, who worked as a crime scene investigator for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office while the search warrant was executed, said he applied a chemical used to detect blood on surfaces, and it indicated the presence of blood not visible to the naked eye. Dress pants and a suit jacket that were in a pile of clothing on the floor also reacted to the chemical, he said.

During cross-examination, Charlton noted that sometimes, cleaning agents can cause a reaction with the chemical.

According to other testimony, the white comforter that was on Galloway’s bed during the search appears to have been bought two days after Danielle disappeared at Bed Bath & Beyond in Beverly Hills, based on surveillance video of the store and credit card records.

On Dec. 7, Malloy said, police recovered Danielle’s car keys and FitBit near an M-5 entrance ramp between Danielle’s apartment and a Tim Hortons where Galloway was seen on surveillance.

Police were given surveillance footage from the restaurant, which shows Galloway enter the business around 8:38 p.m. Dec. 2 wearing dark clothing.

The video shows Galloway pay in cash for an iced coffee, and he is given the store’s landline phone. Video shows him pull a yellow piece of paper out of his pocket and dial a number. Around 9 p.m., Galloway gets up and exits the restaurant.

Malloy said Green Cab’s records show that someone called for a cab at that Tim Hortons and was dropped off at an apartment complex at 25325 Grodan St. in Southfield, across from MetLife.

A driver for the company testified that she picked Galloway up from the Tim Hortons near 10 Mile and Grand River Avenue. She said that she and Galloway chatted during the drive, and Galloway said that he needed to be taken to the Woodridge Apartments on Grodan Street, off of Telegraph Road, in Southfield. Galloway said that his car wasn’t working and that he was going to visit his girlfriend, who lived at the complex.

Police also accessed surveillance footage from the apartments, which shows someone being dropped off by the cab and walking up to the complex door before abruptly turning away and walking east on Grodan, toward Telegraph Road.

Investigators painted a picture of Galloway’s activities to look like this: He allegedly got a ride from Danielle from MetLife to his house in Berkley, where they believe her murder took place, and then he took her car back to her apartment. He walked from her apartment to the Tim Hortons, called a cab and got dropped off across the street from MetLife, where he picked up his car, according to testimony.

 

‘How to pass a polygraph’
Detective Robert Garrett, of the Farmington Hills Police Department, was called to the stand to testify on cellphone data recovered from Galloway and Danielle.

Garrett said police were unable to recover most data from Galloway’s phone because it had been restored to its factory settings, but they were able to uncover data from the cloud.

Garrett said that around 2:47 p.m. Dec. 2, Galloway texted a friend that his wife was in the hospital.

“Just left to go to work. Emotions all over the place. Chemo is starting to get to her,’” Garrett read from the cellphone data.

In her closing argument, Horowitz said Galloway was trying to keep up appearances by texting his friend that he was heading to work, despite calling off for his shift that day, according to his employer.

Garrett said that the old phone found in Danielle’s apartment was taken to the FBI for extraction, and they discovered texts between Danielle and Galloway from October-November 2015, over a year before Danielle went missing.

In the texts, Galloway asked Danielle a series of questions, such as how her new apartment is and if she’d like to hang out with him and play a drinking game. Danielle turned him down.

Danielle asked in the texts if Galloway knew who had given her the flowers that had appeared on her desk earlier that month and were from her “secret admirer.” Galloway said he didn’t know.

Police recovered an iPad from a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo parked in Galloway’s driveway, which they later learned belonged to Galloway’s father.

On the iPad, investigators extracted data from the search history, which contained queries such as “how to pass a polygraph,” as well as a group chat for families of sex offenders.

 

‘My conclusion of the manner of this death is a homicide’
On Sept. 10, the second day of testimony, Michigan State Police forensic biologist Jennifer Jones testified that she determined there were four individual DNA profiles on Galloway’s carpet.

On the carpet, Jones said, there was “very strong support” — the term “match” is no longer used — that Galloway, his wife and Danielle were contributors to the DNA found there.

Jones said the DNA from Danielle was “touch DNA,” or skin cells.

Oakland County Medical Examiner Dr. Ljubisa Dragovic testified that he authorized a certificate of death for Stislicki in December 2018.

“My findings were limited. I indicated that the cause of death of Danielle Ann Stislicki was being a victim of assault, and (her) body (was) not found,” Dragovic said.

Dragovic said he was kept up to date on the investigation by the Farmington Hills Police Department, and he relied on this information and his “common sense” to generate the death certificate.

He said that the carpet sample admitted into evidence was “consistent with strangulation” because it did not contain any visible blood. Typically, in strangulation cases, he said, the body will emit a clear fluid from the nose and mouth that usually does not leave a stain.

“My finding, my conclusion of the manner of this death is a homicide,” Dragovic said.

George Lehman, a forensic document examiner from the Michigan State Police forensic lab, took the stand to discuss handwriting samples.

Lehman said the note that Danielle received with her flowers from her “secret admirer,” compared with samples of Galloway’s handwriting that were made before Danielle’s disappearance — which he said looked like homework and was composed of medical terms — led him to believe that Galloway had written the note with the flowers.

“My opinion was that Floyd Galloway wrote the questioned note,” Lehman said.

 

‘Overwhelming evidence’
Following witness testimonies, Horowitz made her closing arguments, which moved Danielle’s family in the courtroom to tears.

Horowitz said Galloway planned the disapperance and murder of Danielle Stislicki.

“She didn’t just walk away. She was killed by Mr. Floyd Galloway. I’m asking the court to bind over on first-degree premeditated murder,” Horowitz said.

The defense declined to make a closing argument.

Before Brady made his decision, he asked for Danielle’s sequestered family members to come back into the courtroom.

“The court has listened very intently and taken copious notes. The notes are overwhelming evidence in this particular case. I commend all parties involved in regard to the case and how it’s been handled, but at this point in time the only possible decision when it comes to bind over is the fact that the crime of first-degree, premeditated murder has been committed, and there is overwhelming probable cause that the defendent, Floyd Galloway Jr., did commit that crime, so the matter will be bound over to circuit court, and bond will be continued,” Brady said.

Danielle’s family hugged and cried outside the courtroom following the decision.

Outside the courthouse, Mitchell spoke to the media, stating that his client is “prayerful.”

“He’s holding on. He’s prayerful,” Mitchell said. “I think he’s asking for understanding. This is a huge burden that he has to bear, and I think he is hopeful the right outcome will come, whatever that is.”

Danielle’s parents also spoke to the media outside the courtroom. Rich Stislicki thanked the prosecution team and the Farmington Hills Police Department for their hard work.

“We are elated to have the answer and know we are moving forward, to know that those involved in it … have worked diligently, that Floyd Galloway Jr. will be held over and we will move to the next step,” Ann Stislicki said.

Ann Stislicki also spoke about the long journey she and her family have endured.

“I feel sorrow that we’re at the point right now, but I believe that Danielle put things in our way for us to find some of the pieces of evidence that was needed to go ahead and get justice for her at this point,” Ann Stislicki said. “Those who have missing folks where the body has not been found, we’re hoping this is something that, again — just because a body is not found does not mean that we cannot move forward.”

Galloway is expected back in court for an arraignment and pretrial at 1 p.m. Sept. 19 at Oakland County Circuit Court in front of Judge Phyllis McMillen.

Advertisement
Advertisement