Three children and a 25-year-old man found dead in a Bucks County apartment “wanted to die,” claimed a mother who has been charged, along with her adult daughter, in their deaths.
The claim comes in an affidavit filed Tuesday morning by Bucks County detectives. In it, the mother, Shana Decree, offers multiple explanations about what happened in the Morrisville, Pennsylvania, apartment Monday.
The five family members, including two of the mother’s children and her 9-year-old twin nieces, were found dead in a bedroom.
Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, both face five counts of criminal homicide and one count of conspiracy, according to court records.
The five 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.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said at the scene late Monday night. “I just spoke with the family of all five of the deceased and we’re all heartbroken.”
The first floor apartment is in the Robert Morris Apartments on the 200 block of W. Bridge Street, which is about 30 miles northeast of Center City Philadelphia. The bodies and the suspects were found Monday just after 4 p.m. during a welfare check after a county children and youth representative was unable to get an answer at the door, according to a probable cause statement.
Once a maintenance worker opened the door to the apartment, they found the home is disarray with furniture turned over and broken glass, the probable cause statement said. The five deceased family members were found on or around a bed in one bedroom, police said.
Campbell’s 17-year-old son, who was initially feared to be in danger, was found safe, staying with friends in New Jersey, police said.
A friend of the victims told NBC10 they tried knocking on the door a few times Friday but no one answered.
“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 a while, to see if they are all right.’ Nobody answered the door so the maintenance guys went in,” Nicole Owens, a resident of the apartment, said.
Shana Decree and Dominique Decree were both hospitalized before being taken into custody, Weintraub said. Dominique Decree has visible injuries to her neck, detectives said.
While at the hospital, each woman initially claimed that a man or men killed their family members and attacked them, police said.
Shana Decree later admitted to investigators that the entire family wished to die. She claimed even the children were speaking of suicide.
A judge arraigned the elder Decree early Tuesday morning and ordered her held without bail, courts records said. Dominique Decree has yet to be arraigned.
“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.
While police ruled the deaths homicides, investigators did not reveal how the victims died. They resumed their investigation at the apartment on Tuesday morning.
Online court records don’t list an attorney who could comment for either woman.