Little kids wanted to die in murder-suicide pact, mom and daughter claim
MORRISVILLE, Pa. — The mother and daughter charged with the deaths of five of their relatives, including two of the woman's children, told investigators the entire family wanted to die.
Shana S. Decree, 45, and Dominique Decree, 19, are charged with homicide and conspiracy.
The victims are the older woman's 25-year-old daughter Naa’Irah Smith, 13-year-old son Damon Decree Jr., 42-year-old sister Jamilla Campbell, of Trenton, and Campbell's 9-year-old twin daughters Imani and Erika Allen.
They were found dead in a bedroom at the Robert Morris apartments in Morrisville on Monday afternoon.
There was an apparent sign of struggle: the boy's foot had kicked through a wall, officials said.
Shana and Dominique Decree told investigators that all the members of the family wanted to die, including the children, police said in court complaints.
The accused killers told police that the two mothers took turns killing their children before the older Decree strangled her sister. Decree and her daughter killed a third child together. The court documents redacted the names of the children.
The affidavit does not disclose when the deaths took place or how each of the victims were killed.
A visit from a representative for the Bucks County Child and Youth Services around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon led to the discovery of the bodies.
After the agent got no response to a knock on the door, a maintenance worker let the agent inside. The family welfare worker discovered furniture tossed around, broken glass and clutter. They also found Shana and Dominique Decree in bed acting "disoriented."
Morrisville first responders took them to Jefferson Bucks Hospital in Langhorne, where they agreed to speak with police without an attorney present, officials said.
According to the complaint, police found the five bodies in a bedroom. The 13-year-old boy was on the bed and his foot had kicked through the wall into the next room. The body of Smith, Decree's oldest daughter, was sitting against the bed. The twins' bodies were on the floor.
During questioning at the hospital, Shana Decree at first denied knowing what had happened and tried to blame Campbell's boyfriend for the deaths.
Dominique had visible injuries to her neck and claimed to have no knowledge of the deaths. She tried to blame an unknown black man for the neck injuries and repeatedly said she wanted to die. After being told her mother identified who was responsible for the deaths, she also blamed Campbell's boyfriend and two other black males.
Both women were charged with five counts of criminal homicide and one count of conspiracy to commit criminal homicide.
Shana Decree was arraigned early Tuesday morning and is being held without bail. Dominique Decree is expected to be arraigned later in the day.
Law enforcement from several agencies were at the apartment on West Bridge Avenue Tuesday morning removing bags of evidence from the first-floor apartment through a sliding door that opens to a driveway, according to photojournalist Brian McCarthy. He said over a dozen media trucks lined the street.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said that Campbell's 17-year-old son, who authorities earlier said was not a suspect in the case, was later found alive and safe.
At a press conference Weintraub was at a loss to explain the motive for deaths and would not offer a timeline for the incident.
"We're working on some theories but it wouldn't be fair of me to speculate so I'm not going to," the DA said, stressing that there are no other suspects.
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