(MOBILE, Ala.) — A Mississippi man has been arrested in connection with the murder of five people, including a pregnant woman, in a home near Mobile, Alabama, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
The suspect, Derrick Ryan Dearman, allegedly entered a home in Citronelle, Alabama, while the residents were sleeping and killed five of the six adults inside in an act of vengeance against a woman, identified as Laneta Lester, who had left him, the Sheriff’s Department statement said.
Dearman, 27, allegedly “unlawfully entered the residence and attacked the victims while they were sleeping,” the statement said. “Following the murders, Dearman forced Laneta and the 3-month-old infant (belonging to one of the murder victims) into a vehicle,” according to the statement.
The Sheriff’s Department alleges that Dearman, Lester, and the infant drove to Dearman’s father’s home in Mississippi where Dearman released the woman and child. Dearman, accompanied by his fahter, then went to the Green County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi to turn himself in, according to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department statement.
A drive from Citronelle, Alabama, to Greene County, Mississippi, takes approximately 40 minutes, according to Google Maps.
The saga allegedly began on Friday when Lester went to stay with a relative at the home in Citronelle “in an attempt to leave an abusive relationship with Derrick Dearman,” according to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office. At about 1 a.m. Saturday morning, “someone inside the residence called 911 to report Dearman being on their property. Citronelle Police responded to the call, however Dearman left” before police arrived, the Sheriff’s statement said.
Sometime between 1:15 a.m. and dawn, Dearman returned to the residence and committed the murders, the statement said. “Several weapons were discovered at the scene and may have been used as murder weapons,” according to the statement.
Afterward, when Dearman and his father went to Green County Sheriff’s Office, Laneta and the infant returned to Citronelle, where she provided an account of the murders to police, the statement said.
The Sheriff’s statement said the murder victims are: Robert Lee Brown, 26; Justin Kaleb Reed, 23; Joseph Adam Turner, 26; Shannon Melissa Randall, 35; and Chelsea Marie Reed, 22, who the statement said was five months pregnant.
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