Published: Wed, February 27, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Mother and adult daughter charged with killing 5 relatives

Mother and adult daughter charged with killing 5 relatives

In what's one of the most gruesome crimes in recent memory, a Pennsylvania woman and her teenage daughter have been charged with killing five members of their own family, whom according to the mother, all "wanted to die".

Police found the pair in a "disoriented" state on Monday in an apartment in Morrisville, a town of about 10,000 people some 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of NY.

Campbell's sister Shana Decree and niece Dominique Decree face homicide charges. They were subsequently arrested and each charged with five counts of homicide and one charge of conspiracy to commit criminal homicide.

Shana Decree and Dominique Decree were both hospitalized before being taken into custody.

Shana allegedly told investigators that "everyone of the apartment including the 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds wanted to die and that everyone was talking about suicide", Philly.com reported, citing a probable cause affidavit.

According to the criminal complaint, the bodies were all in one room, while Shana and Dominique were disoriented on a bed and in another. When questioned in the hospital, the two first denied knowing what happened. The three children's names were initially withheld, but authorities later identified them as 13-year-old Damon Decree, Jr., and 9-year-old twins Imani and Erika Allen. Meanwhile, Dominique's neck also had visible injuries as well.

She said Shana killed two of the juveniles and Ms Smith and Campbell choked one of the juveniles.

Dominique, 19, then killed Campbell, Shana told police.

The bodies were found Monday in an apartment in suburban Philadelphia after Bucks County child welfare officials showed up unannounced and got no response when they knocked on the door.

"This is a awful tragedy", Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub told reporters gathered outside the apartment.

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 was arraigned early Tuesday morning and is being held without bail.

It wasn't clear whether either woman yet has a lawyer to speak for her.

Detectives were also searching for Campbell's 17-year-old son, who was found safe and is not considered a suspect. However, as of February 26, he had been found alive.

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