A teenage boy has been arrested and charged with four counts of murder after four of his family members were found dead on Sunday morning in the family home near Elkview in Kanawha County, West Virginia, police said. In a statement posted to Facebook, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said an adult male and female as well as two boys, aged 12 and 3, were found dead at the home on the 1300 block of Cemetery Hill Drive.
At the time, authorities added that a fifth person, a juvenile, was missing from the home. The sheriff’s office later updated their statement to indicate that the missing teenager, also a resident of the home, was located and eventually charged with all four murders. The sheriff’s office was unable to provide his identity due to laws regarding juvenile offenders, the statement indicated, but said he is 16 years old.
On Monday night, the sheriff’s office identified the deceased as Daniel Long, 37, Risa Saunders, 39, Gage Ripley, 12 and Jameson Long, 3. Facebook posts from family members identified them as all members of the same immediate family but the sheriff’s office did not provide those details. The autopsies have been concluded but the reports are not yet available, the statement added. While authorities said “Each victim appears to have been shot with a firearm,” they were unable to provide the exact causes of death or dates and time of death until the autopsy reports are completed.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Bodies Were Found by a Family Member Who Was Concerned About Not Hearing Back From Them
The sheriff’s office said they received a 911 call at 10:40 a.m. on Sunday from someone who’d gone to the family’s home to check on them since they hadn’t heard from them in days, authorities said. During a press conference reported by KTXS, the sheriff’s office indicated that the caller was a family member of the victims. The sheriff’s office’s press release stated:
When the caller arrived he found the door unlocked and entered. He discovered three of the residents dead from an apparent act of violence. He went to a nearby house and called 911. A fourth victim was found in the house by responding Deputies. …
The deceased are a family, including an adult man, an adult female, a 12 year old boy, and a 3 year old boy.
The investigation into the quadruple homicide is ongoing, authorities said. However, they indicated that it was not a “random crime.”
A Neighbor Said She Hadn’t Heard Anything From the Home
One of the victims’ neighbors, Samra Mullins, told Metro News she hadn’t heard noises from the home. “It’s a little nerve-wracking. You don’t expect this to be so close to home,” she said. “It’s just more stress. You know, we’re dealing with the COVID. It’s just more bad news.” She told the outlet the community has been put on edge since hearing about the murders.
Cemetery Hill Drive in Elkview is just northeast of Charleston. This story is still developing and will be updated when more information is available.