On February 22nd, investigators found Jamie Pogreba-Brown dead in her kitchen, brutally murdered. They say her husband, Todd Michael Brown, killed her with a hatchet while her children slept in the other room. Jamie’s sister, Jennifer Holovack, spoke with News 5’s Hayley Minogue about the murder, domestic violence, and her fears that the family will not get justice.
“I don’t even know how old she was,” said Holovack as she looked at a pile of printed photos of her sister, Jamie.
“It was one of her school pictures… she hated it,” she said with a laugh. “Absolutely hated it… which is why I brought it.”
Anyone with a sister knows the bonds between the two are unique.
“She’s so cute,” Holovack said as she looked through more photos.
“To be honest with you… it’s been as of recent that I’ve even been able to look at her pictures,” she continued. “It’s been really hard.”
Jennifer’s sister Jamie died February 22nd. Investigators in Santa Rosa County say she was murdered by her husband, Todd Michael Brown.
“It’s not like we wanted to shove it in people’s faces,” Holovack said about keeping the details of this case quiet until now. “It’s horrible and I think that people have a tendency to be even less able to empathize when it’s something that far out, something that heinous. I feel like maybe people need to know the severity of it cause we’re obviously not getting the attention we need.”
Holovack says conversations with attorneys have been confusing and the family feels like they’re just another court case in a bogged down system. They were especially upset to find out the death penalty is off the table.
“What else would qualify for the death penalty?” Jennifer asked sarcastically. “What could be worse? He hit her nine times with a hatchet. Nine times. She had defensive wounds on her hands and her arm because she was trying to stay alive, and her children were sleeping in the next room. If that doesn’t qualify, then what does?”
To cope with her loss, Holovack began volunteering with The Shelter House, a local organization focused on helping all parties involved in domestic violence.
“What I found is that there are a lot of resources that people just don’t know about,” she said. “It’s not just resources for women. There are a lot of resources for women and children but there are also resources for offenders, for men, for people who need help with anger, it’s out there.”
The family continues to hope for justice for Jamie, honoring her memory by spreading her story.
“She didn’t get the chance to do anything…” Jennifer said of her sister’s short life. “We were supposed to raise our kids together. We were supposed to be there for each other. He spent two years with her and he thought he had the right to take her.”
Todd Michael Brown is set to appear in court for a second docket day on July 18th, but attorneys tell us they’re still in discovery, and it will likely be continued.
Jamie Pogreba-Brown would have turned 29 next month.