Deputies Wednesday were searching for a man who they say killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend, a woman her family remembered as a loving mother with a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Markeith D. Loyd, 41, is wanted in the slaying of Sade Dixon, 24, at her home in west Orange County on Tuesday.
Her father, Ron Daniels, said she recently received her real estate license and also ran an online business selling hair products.
"She had goals," said Daniels, standing outside the family home that had several bullet holes near the front door. "Once she set her mind to it, she had her way to go get it."
Dixon split her childhood between Central Florida and Utica, N.Y., Daniels said. She graduated high school in Utica before moving back to Florida with her family.
Daniels said his daughter was a "fantastic, phenomenal, awesome, one-of-a-kind" mother.
"She was upbeat, outgoing and fun," he said. "She was just a joyous person."
When deputies arrived just after 9 p.m. at the home on Long Peak Drive, they found Dixon dead from a gunshot wound. Dixon was three months pregnant, Orange County sheriff's spokeswoman Jane Watrel said.
Deputies also found Dixon's brother, Ronald Steward, 26, wounded. He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with unspecified gunshot wounds and was listed in critical condition.
Daniels said Steward underwent a six-hour surgery Wednesday afternoon.
Dixon was shot when Loyd banged on the front door and she answered it, Watrel said. Steward came to her aid and also was shot, she said.
Dixon's two children, ages 5 and 7, were inside the home with her parents and another brother, Watrel said. They were not harmed. Daniels said he was there, too, but he would not go into detail because of the ongoing investigation.
Law enforcement officials continue to look for Loyd, whom they consider armed and dangerous. Records show he spent four years in prison for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. He was released in 2002.
Orange County court records show Loyd was charged with a 1995 murder, but that case was dropped after a witness recanted.
Anyone with information on the crime or Loyd's whereabouts can call Crimeline at 800-423-8477.
Stephanie Allen, Steven Ford and Caitlin Doornbos contributed to this report.