MORRISVILLE, Pa. –
Pennsylvania authorities arrested two women Monday after finding the bodies of five of their family members inside the apartment they shared in Bucks County.
District Attorney Matthew Weinstraub said Shana Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, were charged with five counts each of criminal homicide and one count of conspiracy to commit criminal homicide.
>> Read more trending news
Updated 12:30 p.m. EST Feb. 26: A criminal complaint filed by Pennsylvania authorities showed officers found the bodies of Shana and Dominique Decree’s family members on Monday afternoon during an unannounced child welfare check.
No one answered when a caseworker with Bucks County Children and Youth knocked on the family’s apartment door Monday, but a maintenance worker was able to get into the apartment, according to police. Authorities said they found “furniture turned over and … broken glass and clutter throughout” the apartment. In a bed, authorities said they found Shana and Dominique Decree, who appeared to be disoriented.
The pair was taken to a hospital as authorities responded to the scene, officials said.
At the apartment, investigators found the bodies of five of Shana and Dominique Decree’s family members dead in a single room. The victims were identified as Shana Decree’s children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13; Shana Decree’s sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42; and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen.
Shana and Dominique Decree initially denied any involvement in the killings, blaming the deaths on unidentified assailants and then pinning the blame on Dominique Decree’s boyfriend before Shana Decree admitted their involvement, police said.
“Shana later told police that everyone at the apartment, including the nine-year-olds and the thirteen-year-old, wanted to die,” police said in an affidavit of probable cause. “Shana advised that all, including the children, were talking about suicide.”
A judge ordered Shana Decree held without bail Tuesday morning as she awaits trial. Dominique Decree is scheduled to be arraigned later Tuesday.
Updated 11:55 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Shana S. Decree, 45, and Dominique Decree, 19, were initially taken to a local hospital, but have now been arrested in connection with the murders, WPVI-TV reported.
The victims range in age from 9 to 42 and have been identified as Shana Decree’s children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, and Shana Decree’s sister Jamilla Campbell, 42, of Trenton, New Jersey, and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters Imani and Erika Allen.
Police said they are still looking for Jamilla Campbell’s son, Joshua Campbell, 17, but not as a suspect. They want to make sure he’s OK, according to WPVI.
“This is a terrible tragedy. I just spoke with the family of the five of the deceased and we’re all heartbroken,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said.
The victims may have been dead for as long as a week.
No motive in the crime has been released.
Original report: Pennsylvania authorities are investigating the deaths of five people, including three children, inside an apartment in Bucks County, according to media outlets.
The bodies were discovered inside the Robert Morris Apartments in Morrisville after police arrived for a welfare check Monday afternoon, WTXF-TV reported.
A spokesman for the Bucks County district attorney’s office said the ages of the victims have not been determined, but that foul play is suspected, according to WTXF.
There was an initial concern that the deaths could be related to a hazardous materials situation inside the apartment, according to the Bucks County Courier Times, but Morrisville police Chief George McClay said that was quickly ruled out and that there was no danger to the public.
The investigation is continuing.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.