The mother and daughter accused of murdering five family members — including three children — in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, were reportedly involved in a religious cult and had been preoccupied with demons before the murder-suicide plot that ended with the two women still alive.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, five family members were found dead in a Morrisville apartment on Monday: Naa’Irah Smith, 25; Damon Decree Jr., 13; Jamilla Campbell, 42, and her 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen.
Shana Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, were reportedly alive in the home when authorities arrived, and later arrested for the murders. Shana is the mother of victims Naa’Irah Smith and Damon Decree. Campbell is Shana’s sister, and Shan reportedly told police that Dominque had killed Campbell after Campbell had killed Naa’Irah Smith. The victims’ cause of death is not known, but police said they were not shot, poisoned, or stabbed. When authorities found Dominique, she reportedly had exterior wounds on her neck.
Shana Decree’s ex-husband Damon Decree Sr. told the Daily Beast on Wednesday that both suspects had become involved in a cult-like religious organization they discovered online.
“I heard they were into something religious but I don’t know what. I just can’t believe they did this,” Decree, Sr. said. “I know the religious was something they found online, but I don’t know any details because I live in North Carolina now.”
Both Decree Sr. and Destiny Harris, reportedly another relative, said in interviews that the women had made talking about demons.
“They were all going through something religiously and they decided to drag the kids into it,” Harris told ABC 6 News.
The suspects reportedly told police that the killings were intended to be a murder-suicide, and presumably, they too were both expected to die. Shana Decree reportedly said “everyone at the apartment including the nine-year-olds and 13-year-old wanted to die,” and they were all “talking about suicide.”
Decree Sr. told the Daily Beast that he was so concerned about the situation that he requested a child welfare visit. Social services reportedly went to the home on Saturday for a welfare check, left a business card in the door, and returned on Monday to find the card still in the door. They then requested a maintenance worker in the apartment building access the apartment.
Authorities reportedly believe the victims died sometime between Saturday and Monday. Both suspects are believed to be in custody at this time.