WASHINGTON — The bodies of three young girls were discovered inside a Maryland home, and one person has been arrested.
Three young girls were found killed inside a Clinton, Maryland, home early Friday morning, sparking a homicide investigation into a crime described by authorities as “heartless” and a “nightmare.”
Prince George’s County police arrested 24-year-old Antonio Williams Friday night.
The children, all under the age of 10, suffered trauma to their bodies, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan. An adult family member discovered the bodies inside the Brook Jane Manor home Friday morning and called 911 shortly after 7:30 a.m.
“We are now in the midst of a major investigation into what happened to these children, who killed them,” Donelan said at an 11 a.m. news conference.
At a follow-up news conference Friday afternoon, police said they believe the crime is confined to the home where the bodies were found, and there is no wider threat to the community. Police said they have not yet made an arrest.
Police have not said how or if the children were related. Deputy chief of the Prince George’s County police Sammy Patel told reporters authorities have made contact with one parent. “That’s information that we still have to keep close to the vest,” he said.
Adults who were at the home when police arrived have been speaking with authorities at the department’s criminal investigation division.
Officials and neighbors said they are shaken by the crime.
“We woke up again this morning, as hard as it is, to yet another nightmare,” said Angela Alsobrooks, state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, who pledged a swift investigation into the deaths.
Alsobrooks said she spent the early part of the day shopping for school supplies with her daughter “and just couldn’t, throughout the day, shake the thought that there are some families who are experiencing what no parent should ever have to experience.”
Assistant Police Chief Hector Velez called the killings a “heartless crime.”
“I wear a uniform, but I am a father,” Velez said. “Those that responded here today are parents, aunts, uncles and siblings of young children that they care for and love very much. We all feel this loss.”
Donelan said earlier Friday the first-responding officers would receive counseling.
Neighbors described the neighborhood as a normally quiet suburban subdivision.
“People trust that kids can be safe right here in this neighborhood and to realize that that’s not the case today — those kids didn’t deserve it,” James Pinkney, a neighbor and father of two, told WTOP. “I didn’t know them, but they’re my neighbors.”
Another neighbor, Maurice Johnson, told WTOP: “It’s a quiet neighborhood … Nothing happens around here. Nothing like that. It’s a regular suburb in [Prince George’s] County.
A map of the location is below:
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report from Clinton.