A Pennsylvania woman and her 19-year-old daughter have been arrested and charged with murder after allegedly killing five relatives, including three children, inside an apartment.
According to Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI, on Tuesday, Shana Decree was arraigned on five counts of murder and conspiracy charges, and daughter Dominique is expected to be arraigned on the very same charges later in the day.
Investigators were stunned when the duo confessed to their involvement in killing their family inside their Bucks County home. The family victims have been identified as: Shana Decree’s own children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, Shana’s sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42, and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen.
On Saturday, the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency showed up to an apartment complex in Morrisville, Pa., to perform a welfare check, but unfortunately no one answered the door so the agent left a card.
On Monday concerned agency representatives returned to the apartment for an unannounced visit around 4 p.m. and again got no answer. However, this time they enlisted the help of a maintenance employee from the complex to gain access into the home.
When the maintenance man entered the apartment, he found Shana and Dominique Decree laying in bed disoriented. Local police were called and both women were taken to the hospital.
The apartment was in a state of disarray and after responding officers pushed past the upended furniture, broken glass and clutter, they discovered four bodies in a small bedroom. The fifth victim was later discovered laying underneath another body.
“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 Monday evening during a press conference.
Shana and Dominique Decree were read their Miranda rights in the emergency room of the hospital. They were taken to separate exam rooms to be questioned and each spoke to police without an attorney present.
Dominique confirmed that she lived in the home with her mother, her sister, her brother, her aunt, and her twin cousins. At first the teen — who had visible bruises on her neck — denied knowing what happened. Then she claimed an unknown male hurt her and she kept repeating she wanted to die.
Shana also denied knowing what happened, but according to a Bucks County prosecutor’s criminal affidavit she claimed Jamila’s boyfriend and two unknown males came into the apartment and killed everyone except her and her daughter. But later she admitted to police that everyone in the apartment, including her 9-year-old nieces and her 13-year-old son, wanted to die and talked about wanting to commit suicide.
The teen later outlined for police how each person was killed claiming her mother killed one twin, her brother, and her sister; then her aunt, Jamilla Campbell killed the other twin; and she then strangled Campbell, according to the affidavit.
Shana Decree’s account differed slightly from her daughter’s, and she claimed Dominique helped her with one of the killings and that it was her sister who killed her eldest child Naa’Irah.
Police were concerned about the whereabouts of Jamilla Campbell’s 17-year-old son, Joshua, but Tuesday morning they found him safe in Willingboro, N.J., about 25 miles away. He is not considered a suspect and Decree is currently being held without bail.