Woman and daughter charged with murder of 5 family members

Tim Jimenez
February 26, 2019 - 6:28 am
Shana Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, are charged with five counts of murder and conspiracy.

Bucks County District Attorney's Office

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UPDATED: 3:39 p.m.

MORRISVILLE, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A woman and her daughter are held without bail, charged with murdering five family members after the bodies were found in their Morrisville, Pa., apartment when the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency stopped by unannounced on Monday to check in on the family.

Shana Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, are charged with five counts of murder and conspiracy.

RELATED: 5 people found dead in Bucks County apartment

The Robert Morris Apartments unit where the two lived was still blocked off with police tape Tuesday morning, while investigators gathered evidence and a couple of cars were towed away.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub late Monday night. “I just spoke with the family of all five of the deceased, and we’re all heartbroken.” 

Morrisville Police Chief George McClay says the chilling details of this case, really stand out.

"We shouldn't see this at all but this is what we get paid for when we come to work," McClay said. "It's a sad day for us. As much as I've seen in my career, it's the saddest case I've ever had."

McClay says it all seems to have started on Saturday, when Child and Youth Services stopped by, but no one answered the door. 

"They did not return again until Monday and that's when we discovered the bodies," McClay said.

Around 4 p.m. Monday, police on a wellness check got to Shana and Dominique’s apartment and found the five victims.

Authorities identify them as Shana Decree’s children: Damon Decree Jr., 13, and Naa’Irah Smith, 25; her sister Jamilla Campbell, 42; Jamilla's 9-year-old twin daughters, Erika and Imani Allen.

Weintraub had to pause and compose himself Tuesday afternoon, the emotion clear in his voice, as he read the names of the twins.

"This investigation is ongoing," Weintraub said. "It will be some time before we can determine all of their causes of death."

It could be weeks as they’ll have to wait for toxicology results before the medical examiner lists an official cause of death. According to the criminal complaint, the bodies were all in one room, while Shana and Dominique were disoriented on a bed and in another. 

Both mother and daughter were taken to the hospital, and they first told police they didn’t know what happened. But eventually, police say, Shana told them everyone in the apartment, including the three kids, wanted to die and was talking about suicide.

According to the court documents, both Shana and Dominque say several of the victims were choked to death. Dominique Decree herself had "visible injuries to her neck." 

As for possible motive, or whether this may have been a murder-suicide, Weintraub says what the two were thinking would be speculation at this point.

After the bodies were found, police started looking for Jamilla’s 17-year-old son to make sure he was okay. Police say they found him in South Jersey. He recently ran away from home.

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KYW Newsradio's Jim Melwert contributed to this report.