Crime

Bay homicide victim Mueller had ‘demons’ but wanted better

Demetrius ‘Demet’ Mueller, 29, was trying to turn his life around, said a friend speaking for his family. Mueller, shot dead Saturday along with his ex-girlfriend, was close to his family and checked on his mom often. He was an attentive father to three daughters, his friend said.
Demetrius ‘Demet’ Mueller, 29, was trying to turn his life around, said a friend speaking for his family. Mueller, shot dead Saturday along with his ex-girlfriend, was close to his family and checked on his mom often. He was an attentive father to three daughters, his friend said. Courtesy Mueller family

Kristina Quintini was trying to extricate herself from a relationship with Demetrius “Demet” Mueller while a family friend said he struggled to escape a troubled past, but the two were shot dead Saturday and their 6-month-old baby was caught in the gunfire.

The baby, Mia Mueller, still has a bullet in her shoulder but is expected to recover.

The Bay St. Louis Police Department is investigating nonstop, Chief Mike De Nardo said Tuesday. He has released few details about the shooting.

The couple died Saturday at Bay Pines housing complex, tidy rows of landscaped duplexes built after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Candles had recently been burned on the porch, where the remnants of a tealight and candle sat on the concrete amid scattered puddles of wax.

What appeared to be a bullet hole had punctured the bottom half of the front window, and the top glass had been shattered. Evidence tape still sealed the door.

The families of Quintini, 28, and Mueller, 29, are still in shock and unable to speak about the deaths. Quintini’s family and friends say she had recently broken up with Mueller. The former Bay High Stepper and 2010 captain of the Dixie Darlings dance team at the University of Southern Mississippi was well-known in Hancock County.

A friend of Mueller’s family spoke to the Sun Herald on Tuesday because they wanted people to know he was loved and loved his family in return, even though he had been arrested more than once.

Robin Redler of Waveland described Mueller as “charismatic, smart and funny.” She said he had a “big personality” and could be charming.

“He had his demons,” Redler said. “It was a constant battle, but he loved God and was trying to turn his life around.”

Mueller was close to his brother, sister, mother, aunts and uncles. He also had two daughters, ages 6 and 7, from a previous relationship.

Redler said it was important to Mueller to be a part of his daughters’ lives. He played with them in the yard, took them to the park and entertained them with trips to Chuck E. Cheese’s. If they were hungry, Redler said, he made sure they had a meal or snack.

“He was on top of it when they needed something,” she said.

Mueller also checked in often with his mother to see if she needed anything. He stayed at her house when he was not at Quintini’s.

He liked to work on cars with his uncle and owned more than one. Redler said he worked odd jobs, including as a roofer and mechanic.

Quintini also had a memorable sense of humor and a smile to match. She was working as a bartender and waitress at the Knock Knock Lounge in Waveland. Her sister works there, too.

The lounge is planning a benefit barbecue at 4 p.m. Sunday, where they will raise money to help Quintini’s family with expenses.

With Kristina gone and her sister off work, Pepper Foster has joined the staff as a bartender.

She worked her first day Tuesday. She said Quintini was her favorite bartender on the Coast.

She and her boyfriend visited the Knock Knock just to see Quintini, who always poured their wine and refilled the glasses before they had time to ask.

“She was always in a good mood,” Foster said. “Always smiling, always laughing.”

Quintini hit it off with Foster, but could never remember the last name of Foster’s boyfriend.

The couple was in the Knock Knock last week.

Quintini called the name of Foster’s boyfriend and said next time she promised to remember it.

“But there was no next time,” Foster said.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

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