Police in Citronelle, Alabama, found multiple murder victims on Saturday night and say they have a suspect in custody. Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich called it a “horrible scene” and an investigator with Mobile County called it “gruesome.”
On Saturday afternoon, five homicide victims were found in a home in Citronelle, in rural Mobile County, located in southern Alabama. Captain Paul Burch of the county sheriff’s office said one of the victims was five months pregnant. Authorities have Derrick Dearman in custody after he turned himself in across the state line in Greene County, Mississippi. He’s set to be charged with six counts of capital murder because authorities are charging him with the murders of the five adult victims as well as the unborn baby. DA Ashley Rich gave a statement in Citronelle on Saturday night.
“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.”
A detective had earlier described the scene as one of the most gruesome homicide scenes he has ever seen. Investigators have not released the manner of death, but indicated that the murderer used several methods. According to Captain Burch, at least one gun was used. A woman who witnessed the crime went to the Citronelle Police Department and reported the murders.
Police were first notified of a possible multiple homicide by a woman who walked into the Citronelle Police Department on Saturday afternoon, he said. The woman told police she had been kidnapped late Friday night or early Saturday morning but that she was able to escape from the kidnapper, according to AL.com. A 4-month-old infant was also apparently recovered from the scene alive.
The murders were reported to have occurred earlier on Saturday. Police responded at about 4:10 p.m. to the home after receiving report of a possible deceased person, says a report from Fox10 News. When they arrived, they found not one but five people had been murdered. A possible witness was being interviewed at the Citronelle Police station on Saturday night. According to neighbors of the victims, a brother and sister and their two families, including their children, lived at the home. All five murder victims are adults, as far as police could tell at this point, as well as the unborn baby.
Captain Burch said the suspect knew at least one of the victims, but didn’t appear to elaborate on the possible relationship. He also said the suspect, Derrick Dearman, is in his 20s and that he has an outstanding burglary warrant in Mobile County, Alabama. FBI investigators were also at the scene of the murder Saturday night, according to Rich, but the sheriff’s office is the lead agency of the investigation. Identities of the victim are being withheld, she said.
“The victims’ families have not been notified, and you have to respect that at this point.”
Mobile County Sheriff’s department detectives say a 911 call was received sometime between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. that named Derrick Dearman as a trespasser on their property. Later, once the crimes occurred and officers arrived, they found one survivor, a small infant who Captain Burch said has been taken safely into protective custody. Authorities in Alabama received word that Dearman had driven himself to a Green County, Mississippi, police department and confessed to committing murder in Alabama, says a report from WKRG News 5.
The motive for the crime has not been revealed at this time. Because of the gruesome nature of the murder scene, investigators anticipate being on the site for days. Mobile County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a press conference and briefing on Sunday morning.
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