A mother and her teenage daughter were arrested Tuesday and charged with murdering five of their family members in their Morrisville, Pa., home.
Shana S. Decree, 45, and her 19-year-old daughter Dominique K. Decree were charged with five counts of criminal homicide and one count of conspiracy for the deaths 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 Ms. Campbell’s daughters, Erika and Imani Allen, 9-year-old twins, according to the New York Times. All five lived in the apartment along with Shana and Dominique Decree. Another teenage son of Campbell’s also lived in the apartment, but he was reportedly not present during the killings and was located safe and unharmed some time later.
According to the Times, the murders were discovered when a social worker showed up on Monday to do a wellness check on the family. The social worker had previously gone to the home on Feb. 5 and everything seemed fine. When she returned Monday and did not get an answer at the door, a maintenance worker called the police.
According to a criminal affidavit, the home was in a state of disarray when police entered. There was broken glass all over the floor and furniture was overturned. The five murder victims were discovered in a back bedroom in the apartment. Shana and Dominique were found sitting on a bed “disoriented.”
Both Shana and Dominique were taken to a hospital. Dominique had superficial injuries on her neck, and Shana reportedly told police that everyone in the apartment had spoken about suicide and “wanted to die.”
Bucks County district attorney Matthew Weintraub declined to comment on a possible motive for the crime and would not speak about Shana’s claims about everyone wanting to commit suicide. He said at a news conference that there are no other suspects in the case.
“I am sure you are going to ask me why this has occurred and what the motivation is,” Weintraub said. “We are no closer to understanding that in the harsh light of day.”
Both Shana and Dominique are currently being held in custody without bail.