By NBC10 Staff, NBC10
A Pennsylvania woman charged in the deaths of five relatives, including two of her children and 9-year-old twin nieces, claimed the victims “wanted to die,” Bucks County authorities said.
The claim was revealed in an affidavit filed Tuesday morning by Bucks County officials. In it, 45-year-old Shana Decree appeared to offer multiple explanations about what happened in the Morrisville, Pennsylvania, apartment.
The woman’s adult daughter was also charged in connection with the deaths.
Decree, 45, and her daughter, Dominique Decree, 19, both face five counts of criminal homicide and one count of conspiracy, according to court records.
Shana Decree is being held without bail because of the potential for first-degree murder charges, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said. Her daughter will be arraigned via video later Tuesday.
There are no additional suspects, officials said.
The victims were found Monday afternoon in the same first-floor apartment, located on the 200 block of West Bridge Street, during a well-being check by a Bucks County Children and Youth representative.
Eight people were known to live at that address, according to officials.
Officers who later arrived on the scene found the apartment in “disarray” and bodies scattered throughout one bedroom. Broken glass and turned-over furniture littered the three-bedroom apartment, officials said.
Some of the victims were lying in beds while others were sitting upright, according to the affidavit. Police have not said when the killings happened or how the victims died.
The victims were identified as Shana Decree’s two children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, both of Morrisville; Shana Decree’s sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42, of Trenton, New Jersey; and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen.
Campbell’s 17-year-old son, who was initially feared to be in danger, was found safe with friends in New Jersey, police said.
“Frankly, we’re still trying to sort this out,” Weintraub said. “We will do our best to get justice for [the victims].”
A neighbor, who said she is related to the family, knocked on the door a few times Friday but no one answered, Nicole Owens told NBC10. By Saturday, she felt something was wrong and alerted apartment maintenance staff. The building manager eventually called the county asking for a well-being check.
An apartment maintenance worker discovered the gruesome scene after letting himself inside.
Shana Decree and Dominique Decree were found “disoriented” and taken to a local hospital, according to the affidavit. They were both hospitalized before being taken into custody, Weintraub said.
Dominique Decree had visible injuries to her neck, detectives said.
At the hospital, each woman initially claimed that a man or men killed their family members and attacked them, police said.
Shana Decree later told investigators that the entire family wanted to die. She claimed even the children were suicidal.
“I wanted to make sure everybody knew that the people who committed these atrocious acts are now in custody and [will] be made to pay for their crimes,” Weintraub said.
At least one of the 9-year-old twins attended Morrisville Middle School, which released a statement Tuesday morning offering counseling and support services for students and staff.
“This is a time of great sorrow for the entire school community,” the statement read. “This is a difficult time for everyone, but I know our students and staff will be able to lean on each other as they remember their classmate.”
Online court records don’t list an attorney who could comment for either woman.