Black lesbian couple and two children found savagely murdered, two arrested

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

“After being in this business for 43 years, I can’t describe the savagery of a person who would do this,” stated John Tedesco, the Police Chief of Troy, New York. He was giving a press conference about a quadruple homicide that took place with the victims including a 5-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy.

The bodies of the children, their 36-year-old mother, Shanta Myers, and her 22-year-old girlfriend, Brandi Mells, were found in a basement bound with their throats cut. Myers had another child, 15, who was away in another state at the time. He was worried the suspects were “coming for [him] next.”

Two men have now been arrested in the killings. Justin Mann, 24 and James White, 38 are being held in connection with the crime and have entered not guilty pleas.

The basement apartment that the victims were found in is one of five in the home. It is located along the Hudson River in the Lansingburgh section of Troy, just north of Albany.

They were found by the couples’ property manager after relatives contacted him to ask him to do a wellness check on the family as they had not been heard from recently.

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“I don’t think there’s any doubt that a person who committed this crime is capable of anything.” Tedesco stated, “this will be a full-court press, if you will, until we bring someone to justice,” he added at the time.

“There are indications at the crime scene that this was not a random act. We are certainly appealing to people in the community that would have any knowledge as to what may have transpired there to contact us as soon as possible,” he went on to say.

Pastor Jackie Robinson of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Troy said, “This heinous atrocity is unimaginable, incomprehensible. I believe it affects the whole community. Kids are traumatized. A lot of adults are traumatized too.”

At the Troy Boys and Girls Club, grief counseling is being provided to children who knew the victims.