Around 4:00 pm on Saturday, police officers found five corpses in a residence in Jim Platt Road, Citronelle, about 50km northwest of Mobile, Alabama. The suspect has been identified.

On Friday, around midnight, a 911 caller from inside resident claimed a trespasser was on its grounds. Police arrive but found no traces of the man, now identified as Derrick Ryan Dearman, 27. It is believed that at the early hours of Saturday Dearman trespassed again, and this time proceeded to murder five people who were inside the house, using various weapons.

Police officers found five corpses in a residence in Jim Platt Road, Citronelle,  Alabama. Photo credit: Mapio
Police officers found five corpses in a residence in Jim Platt Road, Citronelle, Alabama. Photo credit: Mapio

It was not until 4:00 pm that a woman with a three-month-old child entered the police station in Citronelle, claiming she was a witness in a multiple murder case. It was then when police went to the house and found the bodies.

The victims have been identified as Shannon Melissa Randall, 35; Joseph Adam Turner, 26; Justin Kaleb Reed, 23; Robert Lee Brown, 26; and Chelsea Marie Reed, 22, who was five months pregnant.

“We have a horrible scene here. I’ve been an assistant district attorney and now the elected DA, for six years, in total a 20-year career as a prosecutor, and I have never seen a scene where there were five people brutally and viciously murdered. That’s what we have here” stated Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich.

According to Capt. Paul Burch of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, another baby, this time, four-months-old was found unharmed inside the house. Authorities have indicated they will be on the crime site “for days” given the “horrific nature” of the murders.

A gruesome tale

The sole adult survivor, identified as Laneta Lester, 24 was in an abusive relationship with Dearman. Trying to leave the relationship, Lester hid in a relative’s house on Friday afternoon, but Dearman kept stalking her. It was in this house that Dearman committed the slaughter, shooting the victims while they were asleep and using other types of weapon that are still undisclosed. Once it was finished, Dearman took Lester and the three-month-baby (the son of one of the victims) and kidnapped them.

Dearman rode to his father’s home in Mississippi, where he left the two survivors. He then went to the Green County Sheriff’s Office, accompanied by his father, to turn himself in. Dearman is in custody and has been charged with six counts of capital murder, counting all five adults, the unborn child, and the kidnapping. Right now, he is in the process for being extradited back to Alabama.

The murderer

According to his Facebook profile, Dearman is from Leakesville, Mississippi, and he has an apparently outstanding warrant in Mobile County for burglary.

So far, it is believed that he was married before and could even have children since a woman identified as Crystal Leann Dearman posted a status on Facebook claiming to be his ex-wife:

“According to a news report earlier this afternoon, my ex-husband is in custody for the murder of five people in Citronelle. I am writing this post to let everyone that I and my children were not involved and prayers for those involved whoever they are and their friends and family are in order. Thanks to all my Facebook friends in advance” read the status.

Sources: NY Daily News