Three young girls were found stabbed to death at a Maryland house on Friday, according to Prince George’s County Police. A man that was identified as the brother of one of the victims confessed to the crimes and is currently in police custody.
The three little girls were identified on Saturday as 9-year old Ariana Elizabeth DeCree, 6-year-old Ajayah Royale DeCree, and 6-year-old Nadira Janae’ Withers.
The suspect is Antonio Williams, 25, who is the brother of Withers and cousin of the DeCree sisters. Police officials said Williams confessed to murdering his sister and two cousins while they were lying in bed, but his motive for doing so is unclear.
Three young girls were murdered by their relative for unknown reasons
The DeCree sisters lived on Palm Street in Newark, New Jersey, but they were staying at Williams and his mother’s house for the summer. The mother of Withers and Williams left the girls under the care of the suspect on Thursday and left to work an overnight shift. She went back to her home in Clinton at 7:30 a.m. on Friday and found the three girls suffering from stab wounds in a basement bedroom.
The mother called 911 immediately, but when officers and emergency responses arrived at her home in 6400 block of Brooke Jane Drive, the girls were already dead, and they were pronounced so at 7:46 a.m. Police officials said a fourth girl, a 2-year-old, was also in the house at the time but was found alive and unharmed. Officials say that it is still unclear why the little girl was spared.
“We have many answers, but unfortunately we don’t have all of them at this point,” Prince George’s County police Capt. Anthony Schartner said during a press conference Saturday, according to New York Daily News.
NBC Washington first reported officials at the scene said the girls died from trauma to the body, but it was later confirmed they had been stabbed. Police officials said Williams remained at the scene after the murders, and he was transported to a police station.
There, police say he confessed to the crimes during an interview with investigators. Williams even shared he killed them while they laid in bed. Williams had not had any contact with the police before, and they had never been called to the address before the tragic events on Friday. The suspect turned 25 years old today.
Mother of victims: ‘Tomorrow is not guaranteed.’
Neither the Withers nor the DeCree family have commented on murders, and they’ve asked the media for time to grieve.
“Our hearts are extremely heavy during this time. The Withers Family,” read a note outside the door of an address associated with the family, according to The Washington Post.
A video message was posted on the Facebook page of the mother of the DeCree sisters. The message appears to be from the woman.
“Hug you all’s loved ones tonight,” said the message. “Hold the people you hold close tonight because I never thought I would really say and mean this. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. It’s not guaranteed for you. It’s not guaranteed for me, so if we leave with a message of just love who you love. Let go of those… family grudges. Let go of those friend grudges. Just let go… because your family may not be here tomorrow.”
Police officials worked into Friday night to collect evidence from the house. Schartner said during the press conference that officials are only hours into the investigation and that more time is needed to determine exactly what happened.
Suspect is in custody on a no-bond status
Prince George’s County Deputy Chief Sammy Patel described the slayings as one of the most difficult scenes that the department’s officers have ever encountered. Patel said the department would provide counseling services to any responding officer that was present at the scene.
Assistant Police Chief Hector Velez said on Saturday that the crime was also hard on the investigators.
“Incidents like these are not easy to handle,” said Veliz in a news conference, according to The Washington Post. “As parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings of young children, it hurts us as well. Our initial thoughts is to want to out children, but we know we have to put those feelings aside and remain steadfast in finding who the killer is and telling the story that these three children cannot tell.”
State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said Prince George’s County had woken to yet another nightmare and offered her condolences to the families.
Williams is in custody of the Department of Corrections on a no-bond status.
Source: The Washington Post