A Pennsylvania mother and her teenage daughter accused of murdering five members of their own family, including three children between the ages of nine and 13, reportedly thought the world was coming to an end.
Shana Decree, 45, and Dominique Decree, 19, were charged with five counts of homicide and one count each of conspiracy after police found them in an apartment with the bodies of five relatives they had allegedly killed on Monday. At least two of the victims were reportedly choked to death.
Shana told police that ‘everyone at the apartment wanted to die’ and talked about suicide, including the children, according to court documents.
Her daughter claimed that one of the victims, her aunt Jamilla Campbell, 42, killed one of her own twin daughters, aged nine, before she herself was slain.
But a family friend told The New York Post another relative, Tyquilla Campbell, had visited both the mom and daughter after becoming concerned by their behavior.
Latasha Harris said: ‘Tyquilla went there, more concerned for the kids, and they were basically like, “Get out of here, you’re a demon. You’re not wanted here, you’re going to die”. They said something about [how] the world is supposed to be coming to an end in February of 2019.’
Harris’ daughter is the half-sister of the killing’s two youngest victims. She added: ‘I think the whole family was brainwashed by the mother, Shana. I’m thinking [Shana and Dominique] were waiting to die, also. They were all supposed to go, but it just didn’t go according to plan.’
Late Tuesday the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office photo released these booking photos of Shana Decree, left, and Dominique, right, showing marks on Dominique’s neck
The mother and daughter (pictured together) are said to have thought the world was ending
Crime scene tape is seen Tuesday at the Robert Morris Apartments in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, where police found the five dead bodies Monday
Among the deceased are two other children of Shana Decree – Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr, 13. Also killed were Jamilla Campbell’s twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen, aged nine. Police did not say how all five victims died.
The bodies were found on Monday inside the unit at the Robert Morris Apartments in the Philadelphia suburb of Morrisville after Bucks County child welfare officials showed up unannounced and got no response when they knocked on the door.
A maintenance worker opened the door and found Shana and her daughter Dominique in a ‘disoriented’ state, according to court documents.
Matt Scott, Dominique’s ex-boyfriend, told DailyMail.com on Tuesday: ‘It’s f***ing sick how she could do that, and it doesn’t make any sense. Her and her mother were amazing people.’
He did say, however, that he has not spoken to Dominique since they split up in 2017 after about two and a half years of dating.
‘Her family were very close,’ Scott said. ‘I don’t see how this could have happened, especially with the mother: she was very religious.
‘Every family has their struggles but they always stood together as a team, from what I could tell. I was in shock, I was like, ‘This isn’t f***ing real. They were so f***ing close.’
‘I would have never expected this, or even thought of it. They were all so f***ing nice. Everyone is shocked about this; no one would have expected this, and the kids were so f***ing sweet. I’m just horrified, it’s scary shocking.’
Victims: Shana Decree’s sister Jamilla Campbell (left) was one of the family members killed in Pennsylvania, along with Decree’s daughter, 25-year-old Naa’Irah Smith (right)
Shana’s 13-year-old son, Damon, was among the dead inside the family’s apartment (pictured)
Victim Naa’Irah, pictured with her mom Shana, who has now been charged with her murder
Dominique (left) has been charged over the death of her aunt Jamilla (right)
An investigator steps out from the Robert Morris Apartments in Morrisville
Police responded at 4pm and found all five bodies in a bedroom. The apartment was in ‘disarray,’ according to Police Chief George McClay, with broken drywall and broken glass, overturned furniture, and other clutter.
Damon, Shana’s teenage son, was found lying face up on the bed with his right foot jammed through the wall into the adjacent bedroom.
Shana was arraigned early Tuesday morning, while her daughter made her initial court appearance later in the afternoon.
Neighbors had grown concerned for the family when nobody saw them outside the house for several days, NBC reported earlier.
One friend of the victims said she had tried knocking on the door multiple times on Friday but received no answer.
She said: ‘I saw the landlord and said, what’s going on? And she said, ‘we are doing a welfare check because trash is piled up out there for awhile to see if they are alright’. Nobody answered the door so the maintenance guys went in.’
Shana Decree, 45 (left), and her 19-year-old daughter, Dominique Decree (right), have been charged with killing five of their relatives, among them three children
Investigators carry out items from the crime scene during an ongoing homicide investigation
Both suspected killers received medical treatment at a hospital before they were taken into custody yesterday. They agreed to speak to the police without a lawyer present.
Dominique, who had injuries to her neck, initially denied knowing what had happened inside her family’s apartment. She asked if her relatives were alive and talked about her desire to die, according to the documents.
Her mother Shana is also said to have pleaded ignorance and claimed that her sister Jamilla’s boyfriend and two other men came into their apartment and killed everyone, only leaving her and Dominique alive.
Investigators went back to Dominique and told her that her mother has named a potential suspect. The 19-year-old then also pointed a finger of blame and her aunt’s boyfriend and two other men.
Dominique, however, later changed her story, telling police that her mother killed one of her sister’s twins, her own son, and daughter, Naa’irah Smith; that her aunt Jamilla choked her other twin daughter, and that Dominique herself choked Jamilla to death.
Thai Hall, 24, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, said she attended Morrisville High School with Smith and spoke with her about three months ago. Hall, whose mother lives in a neighboring apartment, said Smith was attending cosmetology school. She remembered Smith warmly.
‘She was a happy person, happy person and cared for people,’ Hall said.
Shana (left) told police that ‘everyone at the apartment … wanted to die’ and talked about suicide. Dominique, right, initially said she did not know what happened
Shana allegedly killed her son Damon (pictured together, left) and her daughter Naa’irah, right
Bucks County’s District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said at a press conference: ‘This is a terrible tragedy.
‘I just spoke with the family of all five of the deceased and we’re all heartbroken. I wish I had better news to report.
‘The people who committed these atrocious acts are now in custody and will be made to pay for their crimes.’
Detectives are still investigating how the victims died and it was ‘premature’ to suggest a motive, he said.
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.
Weintraub earlier stressed the teen is not a suspect, saying authorities just want to ‘ensure his safety.’