MORRISVILLE, Pa. (FOX 29) - A mother and daughter charged in the slayings of five family members, including three children, in Bucks County tell police that the killings were intended to be a mass murder-suicide.
Shana Decree, 45, and Dominique Decree, 19, are charged with five counts of homicide and one count each of conspiracy.
Shana Decree told police that "everyone at the apartment ... wanted to die" and talked about suicide, according to court documents. Decree claimed one of the victims, Jamilla Campbell, 42, killed two other victims before she herself was slain.
Officials say the bodies were found inside a unit at the Robert Morris Apartments on the 200 block of West Bridge Street in Morrisville. Police went to check on the welfare of residents just after 4 p.m. Monday.
The victims included Shana Decree's children Naa'Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, both of Morrisville; as well as Shana Decree's sister Jamilla Campbell, of Trenton, New Jersey, and Campbell's 9-year-old twin daughters Imani and Erika Allen. Authorities did not reveal how they died.
According to police, Dominique Decree initially claimed an unknown man caused her injuries and asked if her family was still alive. She also reportedly advised her wish to die.
Shana Decree initially told detectives that Jamilla Campbell's boyfriend and two unknown men were resposible for the killings.
The mother and daughter subsequently confessed to the murders of their family members, according to authorities.
Police say all five bodies were discovered in a bedroom. The apartment was described as being in "disarray," with broken drywall and broken glass, overturned furniture, and other clutter.
The mother and daughter reportedly told detectives that the 13-year-old boy was responsible for the disarray, but officials believe the mess was intended to project the image of a robbery.
Police had previously been to the home for two disturbance calls within the last two months.
Authorities who had been looking for Campbell's 17-year-old son Joshua found him in Willingboro, New Jersey, where he was staying with friends, McClay said.
Bucks County prosecutor Matthew Weintraub earlier stressed the teen is not a suspect, saying authorities just want to "ensure his safety."
At Mooresville Middle Schooll, students decorated a locker in memory of their 13-year-old classmate Damon Decree Jr.
"We are having a hard time making sense of the senseless," said Morrisville school district superintendent Jason Harris.
On Tuesday, the superintendent spoke with stunned parents about the murders that has the neighborhood overcome with grief.
On her way to school, 7 year old Montana Brockington stops to honor her former teacher, Naa’Irah Smith,25, among the 5 family found dead here in their Morrisville apartment. Montana told me she called her ‘Miss Ny’ @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/N3D3M1869E— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) February 27, 2019
Happy Birthday balloons blowing in the breeze outside the Morrisville apartment where 9 year old twin sisters Erika&Imani Allen were killed. Neighbors say they’ll turn 10 on Friday as angels in Heaven @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/oJ2F1dyvIu— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) February 27, 2019
"We all experienced this loss in a different way. It’s easy to say we'll get through this, but getting through it together is the main point," he said.
A growing vigil remains at Robert Morris Apartments, which is still considered a crime scene. Police believe the family of eight lived inside the cramped apartment.
Shana Decree was arraigned early Tuesday, while Dominique Decree was arraigned in the afternoon. It isn't clear whether either woman has a lawyer to speak for her. Court papers show they have not requested a public defender, and no attorney information is listed.
Morrisville Borough Police and Bucks County Detectives are investigating.
This Associated Press contributed to this report.