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By Janelle Griffith and Kalhan Rosenblatt
A Pennsylvania woman and her teenage daughter suspected in the murders of five of their family members, including three children, told police the victims “wanted to die,” the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday.
Shana Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, of Morrisville, were arrested Monday and both accused of killing the family members, who range in age from 9 to 42.
They are expected to be charged with five counts of homicide and one count each of conspiracy, authorities said at a Tuesday news conference.
Shana Decree told police the entire family had discussed suicide and wanted to die, according to court documents released Tuesday morning.
The victims include Shana Decree’s children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, as well as Shana’s sister Jamilla Campbell, 42, of Trenton, New Jersey, and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen, the district attorney’s office said.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said during a news conference Monday night. “I spoke with the family of all five of the deceased and we’re all heartbroken.”
The bodies were found inside the Robert Morris Apartments during a wellness check at approximately 4 p.m. Monday. It was not made clear how each person died.
Shana and Dominique Decree were both hospitalized before being taken into custody, Weintraub said. Dominique had visible injuries to her neck, detectives said.
While at the hospital, they both initially denied knowing what had happened then gave varying accounts of what occurred, according to court documents. Both women claimed that a man or multiple men killed their family members and attacked them, the affidavit states.
Shana Decree was held without bail after a Tuesday morning court appearance. Dominique has yet to appear in court.
“The people who committed these atrocious acts are now in custody and will be made to pay for their crimes,” Weintraub said.
Janelle Griffith is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter for NBC News, based in New York.