Man arrested for mother’s murder after police find her decomposing body in Bandera home

Deputies found two decomposing bodies in Bandera home

BANDERA, TexasUpdate Aug. 8: One of two people found bludgeoned to death in a Bandera home last week has been identified as the mother of the man accused of the crime, a public information officer with Bandera County told KSAT via email Tuesday.

The officer said the woman, identified as Crystal Dawn Holder, is Michael Novak’s mother.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a man and woman were found dead in their bedroom with “massive head trauma from what appeared to be a blunt object.”

The male victim has been identified as Richard Otto Biering III.

Investigators found Novak inside the home on July 28 with blood on his right hand.

Court records provided by Bandera County confirm Novak is charged with two counts of murder. His bail is set at $500,000 for each count.


A man was arrested on two counts of murder after deputies found two bludgeoned, decomposing bodies in a Bandera home, according to a report from the Bandera Bulletin.

Bandera County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Matt King told the paper that the two victims, whose identities have not been released, were found lying in bed Friday evening at a home in the 8700 block of Wharton’s Dock Road.

Michael Andrew Novak, 28, has been charged with murder.

King told the Bulletin that responding deputies “smelled decomposition. They looked in the windows and saw bodies in the bedroom.”

He also said the victims’ bodies appear to have suffered “severe trauma” to their heads.

“We believe it’s the residents, but due to the trauma and decomposition, we haven’t been able to positively identify,” King told the Bulletin.

According to the paper, a responding deputy saw a bedroom door shut slowly as he entered the residence and that’s when Novak was arrested.

His bonds have been set at a combined $1 million, King said.

KSAT has reached out to the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office for more information.