Police Chief: No Evidence of Cult in Apartment Where Five Died
MORRISVILLE, Pennsylvania — The police chief of a Bucks County community where five people were found dead inside an apartment on Monday denies rumors cult activity was involved.
Shana S. Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, are charged with homicide and conspiracy in the deaths of the older woman's 25-year-old daughter Naa’Irah Smith, 13-year-old son Damon Decree Jr., 42-year-old sister Jamilla Campbell of Trenton, and Campbell's 9-year-old twin daughters Imani and Erika Allen.
They were found dead inside a bedroom at the Robert Morris Apartments on West Bridge Street on Monday afternoon.
The accused pair told investigators that all the members of the family wanted to die, including the children, police said in court complaints. The two mothers told police that they took turns killing their children before the older Decree strangled her sister. Decree and her daughter killed a third child together. The court documents redacted the names of the children.
The father of Damon Decree, the father of the 13-year-old boy killed, told 6 ABC Action News that the family was always talking about demons. A family friend said that the Decree children weren't allowed out of their apartment by their mother.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub was at a loss to explain a motivation for the deaths.
"We're working on some theories but it wouldn't be fair of me to speculate so I'm not going to," Weintraub said, stressing that there are no other suspects.
When asked specifically about witchcraft, Weintraub said he didn't know "but I wouldn't be able to tell you that if that were a fact because I don't want to tarnish their memories."
Police chief George McClay downplayed rumors of cult activity and told the news outlet there's no evidence of it inside the apartment.
The chief told the New York Post that Campbell's son Joshua, who Weintraub was trying to locate in the hours after the bodies were discovered, had enough of his aunt's talk about death and left the home. Joshua was located and is safe, according to Weintraub.
Shana Decree was convinced the world was about to end, her sister Latasha Harris told the Post. Another relative who went to check on the family was told to leave because she was a "demon."
Shana and Dominique Decree were denied bail at their respective arraignments on Tuesday and are being held at the Bucks County Jail.