Man questioned after 5 found dead in Texas home

Crime scene technicians tag evidence Monday from a Bellville, Texas, residence where four adults and a child were shot dead.

Associated Press

Crime scene technicians tag evidence Monday from a Bellville, Texas, residence where four adults and a child were shot dead.

BELLVILLE, Texas — Authorities working to determine what spurred a flurry of gunshots that left five people dead in southeast Texas are questioning a 20-year-old man who lived with the victims in the isolated house surrounded by pasture land.

Police said Monday the victims of the weekend bloodshed all lived in the single-story brick home in Bellville, a town of about 4,000 that is 55 miles northwest of Houston. They included a retiree and his wife, a younger woman and man, and a girl believed to be about 3 years old, police said.

Investigators were questioning the 20-year-old man, who remained jailed on burglary and attempted burglary charges, accused of trying to break into a Bellville home. No one else is being sought, Sheriff DeWayne Burger said.

Sgt. Paul Faircloth of the Austin County Sheriff's Office said authorities were still trying to determine a motive for the slayings. He said the Sheriff's Office received a call Sunday afternoon from a person who had gone to the home. Deputies found four bodies inside the home. Those found inside the house were identified as George T. Washington, 69; his wife, Debra, 54; Kiana Shree Thearse, 25; and Khalilah Masse-Chambers, about 3. A man found in the thick expanse of woods behind the house was identified as Cedric Thomas, 19. A relative said both Thearse and the man in custody were Debra Washington's children.

Man questioned after 5 found dead in Texas home 01/18/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 18, 2010 10:56pm]

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