27 February, 2019
A mother and daughter are in custody accused of murdering five of their family members in Pennsylvania.
The bodies were found at 4 p.m. on Monday after someone asked police to conduct a welfare check because the family hadn't been seen for a week, according to local media.
Shana Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, were found inside and taken to the hospital; one of the women was reportedly having seizures and the other seemed dazed.
That's when they found the bodies of Shana Decree's children, Naa'Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree, Jr., 13; as well as Shana Decree's sister Jamilla Campbell, 42, and Campbell's 9-year-old twin daughters Imani and Erika Allen. They both face homicide charges in the deaths of five relatives, including three children, inside an apartment complex in suburban Philadelphia, according to authorities. Dominique Decree was expected to be arraigned later in the day.
It's been reported that the women told police, that along with another sister, they choked the others to death before the sister was then fatally choked by Dominique.
According to Fox 29, officers found the victims in one bedroom of the two-bedroom apartment.
After investigators told Dominique that her mother already identified the persons responsible for killing her family, she allegedly named Campbell's boyfriend as well, authorities said.
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According to reports in the United States, the victims had no obvious injuries.
Inside the first-floor apartment, there was "broken glass and clutter throughout" and Shana and Dominique appeared disoriented, the affidavit said.
Lead author Dr. Timothy Mariano, a third-year psychiatry resident in the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said the three underlying motives appear to be mental illness, high levels of testosterone, and parents, particularly young mothers, feeling they're unable to provide care for their children.
Shana Decree, 45, was arrested and arraigned on murder charges early February 26, reported ABC 6. It was not immediately clear whether any lawyers are representing them.
Detectives were also searching for Campbell's 17-year-old son, who was found safe and is not considered a suspect.
"I wanted to make sure everybody knew that the people who committed these atrocious acts are now in custody and (will) be made to pay for their crimes", DA Matthew Weintraub said. However, as of February 26, he had been found alive.