Crime

Baby’s recovery only bright spot in Bay St. Louis double homicide

In a photo taken within the last month, Kristina Quintini, 28, of Bay St. Louis holds her baby, Mia Mueller, now six months old. Quintini and the baby's father, Demetrius “Demit” Mueller, were killed Saturday night. Baby Mia is recovering in a New Orleans hospital from a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
In a photo taken within the last month, Kristina Quintini, 28, of Bay St. Louis holds her baby, Mia Mueller, now six months old. Quintini and the baby's father, Demetrius “Demit” Mueller, were killed Saturday night. Baby Mia is recovering in a New Orleans hospital from a gunshot wound to the shoulder. Quintini family

Six-month-old Mia Mueller will recover from a gunshot to her shoulder inflicted Saturday, when her mother and father were killed.

Bay St. Louis police officers, responding Saturday evening to a call about a missing person, found Kristina Quintini, 28, and Demetrius “Demit” Mueller, 29, dead in her apartment on Louis Piernas Road. Autopsies should be completed Tuesday, Hancock County Cororner Jim Faulk said, but he did not know when he would receive preliminary results.

Police say they are investigating the case as a double homicide, having ruled out murder-suicide. Chief Mike De Nardo said in an email Monday afternoon: “We are currently in the process of gathering some important information and additional evidence. The investigation is moving forward. Unfortunately, at this time, I cannot report any new developments.”

Mia Mueller is being treated at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. Doctors decided against removing the bullet from her shoulder at this time, said Quintini’s cousin, Kimberly Thomas.

“The bullet is in a non-hazardous area in her shoulder,” Thomas said. “She is going to be fine. That is truly the only blessing that came from this.”

Qunitini’s family is trying to plan her funeral and take care of her baby. Because of the investigation, the family is unable to retrieve the baby’s clothes or other items from the home, Thomas said.

Although little is known about Mueller, Quintini had such an outgoing personality that she was widely known around Hancock County. She was a popular student at Bay High School, where she was a member of the Bay High Steppers dance team. When she attended the University of Southern Mississippi, Quintini was a member of the Dixie Darlings and a captain in 2010.

“What I remember most about Kristina is her bright smile and infectious laugh,” Dixie Darlings Director Tracy Smith told the Sun Herald in an email. “She was a talented dancer who was beautiful inside and out. I remember teammates asking her for guidance on issues dealing with college life.

“She was always willing to work hard and jump in to help others reach their goals as well. She was a joy to teach and will be greatly missed.”

Area merchants have stepped up to help the family.

Mary Turcotte of Bay Waveland Floral will donate the floral spray for Quintini’s casket. Turcotte said she worked briefly with Quintini when Quintini was with the city of Bay St. Louis. Another business owner, Suzy Walters, is accepting donations of clothing and diapers for the baby at her Main Street shop, Identity Vintage, while Dunk’s Southern Style Buffet & Catering will be providing food for the funeral.

At the time of her death, Quintini worked at the Knock Knock Lounge in Waveland, where a barbecue cook-off to raise money for the family will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday. Quintini had been working there only a couple of months, said bartender Bridget Best. Quintini’s older sister, Delila, got her the job.

Best said the sisters had babies near the same age, so they traded baby sitting duties.

Quintini’s family is reeling.

“She was an amazing person,” Kimberly Thomas said. “She was smart, funny and she was cool. Like really cool. She wore awesome clothes and had an amazing style. She was generous, sweet, kind and compassionate.

“She was my sissy, and I feel so proud to be related to a human being of her character.”

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

How to help

The family of Kristina Quintini is without baby clothes or supplies for 6-month-old Mia because the apartment where she lived with her mom has been closed off as a crime scene. Donations are being accepted at Identity Vintage, 131 Main St., Bay St. Louis, by owner Suzi Walters.

The baby girl needs size 3 diapers, size 6- to 9-month clothes and other baby items.

Contributions of food are not requested. Identity Vintage is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Donations can be dropped off at other times by making arrangements with Walters at 806-392-3130.

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