The scene inside was straight from nightmares: overturned furniture, shattered glass and clutter throughout the home. Two disoriented women. And five bodies, including those of three children, in a backroom.
The details come from an affidavit for probable cause, which accuses Shana Selena Decree, 45, and her daughter, Dominique Klaran Decree, 19 — the two who were found alive — of killing the other five. Relatives say religion may have played a role.
The two women are each facing five counts of criminal homicide as well as one count of conspiracy to commit criminal homicide.
It was not immediately clear who is representing them.
Authorities have identified the victims as Shana Decree’s children Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13; Shana Decree’s sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42; and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen. Another relative, Campbell’s 17-year-old son, Joshua, has been found unharmed, authorities said.
Authorities said that there are no other suspects in the case.
“I am sure that you’re going to ask me why this has occurred and what the motivation is, and as confusing as it was last night, we are no closer to understanding that in the harsh light of day,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said during a news conference Tuesday. “We will continue to pursue every lead and to work this case to its just conclusion. I expect that will be a long and laborious process, but we will always keep Naa’Irah, Damon, Jamilla, Erika and Imani first and foremost in our minds and our hearts as we work to get justice for them.”
Weintraub told reporters Tuesday that authorities are investigating the brutal massacre to determine how exactly the family members died, when it happened and why they may have been killed.
When asked whether it may have been a murder-suicide pact, the district attorney said that was a “potentiality.”
Destiny Harris, who is the half sister of the twins, Erika and Imani, told ABC affiliate WPVI that the family was “going through something religiously and they decided to drag the kids into it.”
Damon Decree, Sr., Shana’s ex-husband and Dominique’s father, told the station that they had been “talking about demons being all around them.”
“Apparently they had dissected into some type of cult that they materialized online,” he said of the family. “I don’t know how or what kind of cult.”
Police responded to the home about 4 p.m. Monday and found Shana and Dominique Decree “disoriented” in bed. The two were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, according to court records.
Meanwhile, according to the court records, police uncovered a gruesome scene in a backroom in the apartment — one person’s body was face up on a bed, with his head toward the end and his right foot through the wall to the next room.
Another was on the bed, and one was sitting up against it. One of the children was on the floor. And one person was under another body.
During an interview with police, Shana and Dominique Decree denied knowing what had happened, then told police Campbell’s boyfriend and two other men had come into the apartment and killed the victims, according to the court records.
Later, Shana Decree told police the victims, including the three children, wanted to die and had been discussing suicide, according to the court records.
Ultimately, police said, Shana and Dominique Decree told investigators about a complicated plan that allegedly involved some of the victims killing each other — at least one of them being choked to death — and then Shana and Dominique Decree killing the rest of them, according to the court documents.
Authorities said the 17-year-old boy, who has since been found safe, was not at home during the killings.
Shana Decree was arraigned in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and her daughter, Dominique, was arraigned in the afternoon. Both women are being held without bail, according to booking records.
“I just feel very confident that we have the two killers locked up that committed these atrocious, atrocious murders,” Weintraub, the district attorney, said.