A Pennsylvania woman and her teenage daughter are charged with killing five members of their own family who, the mother later told police, all “wanted to die,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
Shana S. Decree, 45, and her daughter, Dominique K. Decree, 19, are accused in Bucks County of killing their relatives, including three children, at their apartment in Morrisville, north of Philadelphia.
In separate interviews with police, the women said they and Shana Decree’s sister choked the others to death before Dominique Decree fatally choked the sister, the affidavit says. Dominique Decree’s neck had visible injuries, police observed.
“Shana advised that all, including the children, were talking about suicide,” the affidavit says.
The women both have been charged with five counts of homicide and one count of conspiracy, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said.
The pair is accused of killing Shana Decree’s children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, as well as Shana Decree’s sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42, and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen, the prosecutor said.
Shana and Dominique Decree gave different answers about who killed whom, the affidavit states. Both said Campbell participated in the killings before Dominique Decree killed her, and Dominique Decree said she choked her aunt to death, the affidavit states.
Shana Decree is being held without bail after an arraignment Tuesday morning; Dominique Decree is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, according to the district attorney’s office.
All five bodies were found Monday in one bedroom, all faceup on or near the foot of the bed, the affidavit states.
Shana and Dominique Decree may have been involved in a murder-suicide pact, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said Tuesday.
“As far as what the two defendants contemplated themselves, that would be pure speculation at this point,” he said, responding to a question about a murder-suicide pact as the possible motive. “That is a potentiality, though.”
CNN has not been able to reach the defendants or an attorney.
The investigation is ongoing, Weintraub said, adding it will be some time before the victims’ causes of death are released. Their remains, he said, have been taken to the coroner.
Another child of Campbell’s, a son, has been found safe; he was not at the apartment at the time of the killings, Weintraub said.
Well-being check led to grim discovery
A caseworker with the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency visited the apartment Monday for an unannounced well-being check, along with an apartment complex maintenance worker, the affidavit states.
Shortly after 4 p.m., the worker called the Bucks County emergency line and said the apartment was in disarray and that two people in a bed were disoriented. Police showed up, and the two people, Shana and Dominique Decree, were taken to the hospital, the document states.
Police also found the apartment in disarray, with broken glass and furniture turned over, according to the affidavit.
When questioned at the hospital, Shana and Dominique Decree at first denied knowing what had happened. Dominique Decree claimed that an unknown black male had caused injuries to her neck, and she “repeatedly advised her wish to die,” the affidavit says.
Shana Decree told investigators that Campbell’s boyfriend and two unknown males came into the apartment and killed everyone, the affidavit says. After investigators told Dominique Decree that her mother had identified who did it, she also said three men carried out the killings, the affidavit says.
Later, both women said they and Campbell had killed their family members, the affidavit says.