The Missouri fire captain whose doctor fiancée was found dead in his home made “conflicting” and “demonstrably untrue” statements about the circumstances surrounding his first fiancée's death in 2020, can reveal.
This is just one of several allegations Grace Holland's family is making against 50-year-old Robert Daus. They are demanding the “justice” they say she was denied when her death was ruled a suicide.
This week, the family's feud hit the headlines again when it was revealed that while Holland was the first woman to meet an untimely end during her engagement to Daus, tragically, he would not be the last.
On Saturday, Daus' current fiancée, 39-year-old Missouri doctor Sarah Sweeney, was found dead in his suburban St. Louis home.
Police in Frontenac, 15 minutes west of downtown St. Louis, found no signs of a struggle and classified Sweeney's death as “sudden” pending a medical examiner's findings.
Now a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Holland's family and reviewed by has brought to light a litany of psychological and physical “abuse” her first fiancée allegedly suffered during a “highly volatile” relationship with the business owner and fire chief that lasted four years and ended with her death from a single gunshot wound to the head.
In 2020, 35-year-old Grace Holland died from a single gunshot wound to the head at the home of her then-fiancé Robert Daus
They claim Daus changed his story about the circumstances of her death from the version he told officers at the scene to the version he gave later that same day when he was accompanied to the station by his lawyer.
They claim that Holland's engagement ring – visible in photos from the crime scene – disappeared along with other expensive jewelry after her death.
And they present evidence that, they claim, “taken together” leads to the “reasonable conclusion that Daus shot Grace.”
Holland's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Daus, alleging he mistreated Holland and gave contradictory statements to police
Holland was right-handed, a woman trained in the use of firearms, and always wielded her weapon with her dominant hand, yet she was shot in the left temple.
According to her parents' lawyers, “This is incompatible with being right-handed.” [and] This is consistent with someone facing her shooting with their right hand.'
According to the lawsuit, Holland's mother, Patricia, begged her daughter to leave the relationship, which was allegedly marked by vicious verbal and physical attacks.
In one instance, in June 2020, Holland reported that Daus “pushed, shoved and dragged her around the hallway and took off her clothes.” After this incident, her mother saw “bruises on her arms, thighs and spine.”
Later that month, Holland called her mother when Daus “yelled at her and threw her things in the yard.”
As her mother urged her to call the police, the older woman heard Daus make the chilling threat: “My brothers in blue won't hurt me.” I've already taken care of it.
“You’re the crazy girlfriend, remember.”
Throughout the relationship, Daus allegedly pressured Holland to quit her job and work for a company he owned.
Instead of paying Holland directly, the company paid Daus, who, as the lawsuit states, “controlled all of the money.”
“By controlling the money,” it is said, “Daus controlled Grace.”
Although Holland was living together and choosing a house, her name wasn't on the deed, meaning she would have nothing if she left.
Holland's four daughters from a previous relationship were reportedly afraid of Daus and witnessed numerous violent scenes between him and their mother.
According to the lawsuit, they told their maternal grandmother that Daus, now a captain with the Maryland Heights Fire District, “pushed and constantly yelled at” their mother and that he had startled her by “throwing the phone over the dining room table while they were sitting there.” “.
Sometimes, they said, he lost his temper over minor problems, such as the couch touching the living room curtain or the silverware not in the right place.
In a conversation captured on video, Daus berated Holland for being in a “fucking forced marriage” and discussed how he would do anything to “spend so little time with him.” [her] as possible.'
Heartbreakingly, Holland responded by telling Daus that she loved him. He told her, “F*** you.” F*** you. F*** your fucking mother. Get the hell out of my house.'
Holland's four daughters from a previous relationship were reportedly afraid of Daus and witnessed numerous violent scenes between him and their mother. Holland is pictured with her daughter Emma
Holland's daughter Emma took to Facebook to demand justice for her mother's death
Daus is a captain with the Maryland Heights Fire District and vice president of his family business, Liberty Art Works
In text messages, Daus repeatedly offered Holland $600 to abort the baby she was carrying at the time. She later suffered a miscarriage.
In the days before her death on July 22, 2020, texts between the two fluctuated wildly between insults and the mundane.
On July 17, 2020, a friendly conversation about home furnishings and carpentry ended with Daus saying, “I absolutely can't fuck you… I won't marry you… you and your damn kids.” F*** [y]you.'
Two days later, he texted her: “I asked you to leave” several times. I don't want you there. I don't want you or your children. I want to leave. I asked you to leave. Take your jeep, your things, go. I'm done.'
But later they talked about buying faucets for the new house.
On July 20, 2020, Daus turned around again and said, “I want you out of there.” [my] Life. You did nothing but ruin my first night at my place [the new house]. The thought of you sleeping in this house makes me want to throw up. That's how much I hate you.'
Two days later, Holland was dead.
The lawsuit states: “The only living person who knows exactly what happened… is… Robert Daus Jr.”
But on the morning of her death at Daus' home in Creve Coeur, Missouri, he told two very different accounts.
According to the coroner, at 7:25 a.m. on July 22, 2020, a detective contacted her office and reported the matter as follows: “Holland came into the living room to hug Robert and she went back into the bedroom without speaking to him.”
“Shortly afterwards, Robert heard a single gunshot wound and discovered Holland in the bedroom with a gun and what appeared to be blood under her head.”
The lawsuit notes that the only possible source of this information was Daus.
But later, accompanied by an attorney, Daus went to the Creve Coeur Police Department and gave police a statement “that contained a completely different narrative.”
He then stated that he got up for work and stood at his closet stacking clothes. He claimed Holland left the bedroom, came back and hugged him.
He stated that he tried to hug her, but his arms were outstretched, so she “moved to his right side and hugged him, pulling his face toward her.”
He claimed she said “goodbye,” after which he heard a gunshot and witnessed her fall to the ground.
The following year, Daus was questioned by police about Holland's missing $20,000 engagement ring and other expensive jewelry that went missing after her death.
Initially, Daus claimed that Holland gave the ring back to him, but text messages showed he then gave it back to her.
Dr. Sarah Sweeney, 39, was found dead Saturday at the home of her fiancé, local fire chief Robert Daus, in suburban St. Louis
According to the wrongful death lawsuit, Daus told his fiancée Holland in a text message that she should kill herself
Daus then claimed the ring was lost and he filed an insurance claim. When asked why he appeared in photos from the crime scene, he told police that the ring pictured was a fake made for travel. However, despite repeated requests, he did not provide any documentation proving they had ever made a counterfeit ring or insurance claim information to the Creve Coeur Police Department.
According to Holland's family, all of this added up, along with the “smiling selfies Holland took the night before her death… the numerous times Daus asked her to leave the house… the omissions, contradictions and outright fabrications in Daus.” 'Narrative of her death…' leads to the reasonable conclusion that Daus shot Grace.'
And when he wasn't pulling the trigger himself, they say, he “aided or encouraged Grace to harm herself through his cruelty, including psychological and physical abuse.”
Shockingly, Daus even told his fiancée to kill herself in a text message.
Whatever the case, Holland's grieving family firmly believes that “Robert Daus Jr. is responsible for the unjustified death of Grace Holland.”
Whether there are further investigations into the death of Dr. Sarah Sweeney's death depends on the coroner's findings.
But when her mother, Teresa Sweeney Light, spoke earlier this week, she certainly reflected the hopes and feelings of the Holland family, who mourned before them, when she said: “We just wish we could have her back. “We just want to a degree. “We want it to be truthful and fair.”