A US man has confessed to the killings of five people, including a pregnant woman, at a house in southern Alabama, police said on Sunday as they warned it would take days to untangle the grisly murder scene.
Police said the victims were found on Saturday afternoon inside the residence located in the city of Citronelle, about 30 miles northwest of Mobile.
They alleged the suspect attacked his victims while they slept and then abducted his estranged girlfriend and an infant – both of whom were later found alive.
The dead were named as 22-year-old Chelsea Marie Reed, who was 5 months pregnant, 35-year-old Shannon Melissa Randall, 26-year-old Robert Lee Brown, 23-year-old Justin Kaleb Reed and 26-year-old Joseph Adam Turner.
“Given the way the scene looks, we’re going to be here a couple of days,” Capt. Paul Burch of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office said on Sunday. “It’s obviously a horrific scene.”
Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich told reporters near the scene that in her 20-year career as a prosecutor, she’s never encountered a crime “where there were five people who were brutally and viciously murdered, and that’s what we have here.”
“There are multiple weapons that have been used,” she said.
Capt. Burch told reporters at the scene that “there was some type of instrument other than a firearm used on them.”
Suspect Derrick Dearman of Leakesville, Mississippi, was taken into custody after he walked into the Greene County Sheriff’s Office Saturday afternoon and confessed to the crimes.
Sheriff’s officials say Mr Dearman, will be charged with six counts of capital murder – one count for each adult and a sixth count because Reed was pregnant.
Capt. Burch said it appeared events began unfolding in the early hours of Saturday morning. Somewhere between midnight and 1 am, residents of the house had called 911 to report a trespasser. Capt. Burch said it was his understanding that during the call Mr Dearman had been identified as the trespasser.
The captain said he understood that Citronelle police responded to the call, but found no one.
Capt Burch said it appeared the murders had taken place later Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon, a woman reported to Citronelle police that she’d been kidnapped and escaped. Information from her account led Citronelle police to the house on Jim Platt Road.
An investigation is ongoing.
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