Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday charged a 45-year-old woman and her daughter with murdering five family members whose bodies were discovered in an apartment outside Philadelphia, court records showed.
Three children were among the victims found dead on Monday at the apartment in Morrisville, a borough about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of downtown Philadelphia, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub told reporters.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” Weintraub said overnight at a news conference outside the apartment building. “We just spoke to the family of all five of the deceased and they’re all heartbroken.”
Shana Decree, 45, was arraigned in state criminal court early on Tuesday, according to court records.
She faces five counts of criminal homicide and one count of criminal conspiracy in the deaths of her daughter, Naa’Irah Smith, 25; her son, Damon Decree, 13; her sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42; and Campbell’s twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen, each 9 years old, Weintraub said.
Shana Decree was held without bail and did not enter a plea during the hearing, according to court records.
It was not immediately clear if she has obtained an attorney.
Dominique Decree, 19, a daughter of Shana, was also arrested in the deaths of the family members and faces the same criminal charges as her mother, Weintraub said.
Weintraub declined to immediately say how the five victims died or what the motive was for the killings.
Authorities were looking for a 17-year-old son of Jamilla Campbell, but he was not considered a suspect in the killings, the district attorney said.
Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum
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