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Four people—two women and two children—were found dead in a basement apartment in upstate New York the day after Christmas. Troy Police Chief John Tedesco told reporters Wednesday that this was likely not a "random act" but initially declined to release many details on the quadruple murder, according to CBS News.
"Being in this business for almost 42 years, I can't describe the savagery of a person like this," Tedesco said. A church in nearby Albany has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect, who had not been identified by authorities at the time of this writing. The victims were identified Thursday as Brandi Mells, 22; Shanta Myers, 36; Shanise Myers, 5; and Jeremiah Myers, 11.
A separate report from the Times Union, citing "law enforcement sources," claimed the victims were found "bound, with their throats cut." The building's property manager entered the apartment early Tuesday afternoon after relatives had informed him the inhabitants were not responding to phone calls, police said. "Nobody that's been involved in this case is going to forget this," Tedesco told reporters Wednesday.
Several reports have compared the Troy quadruple murder to the 2014 slaying of a family of four in nearby Guilderland. Jin Chen and Hai Yan Li, a married couple, were murdered with a knife and a hammer inside their home alongside their two young children. Three years later, the murders remain unsolved. Authorities have not made any direct connections between this week's Troy murders and the Guilderland case.
UPDATED 3:25 p.m. ET: Two suspects have been arrested in the quadruple homicide in upstate New York this week.
According to NBC News, 38-year-old James White and 24-year-old Justin Mann were questioned by authorities Friday night and were arraigned on Saturday. The men, both of Schenectady, New York, are accused of killing Shanta Myers and her domestic partner Brandi Mells, as well as her two children, Jeremiah Myers, 11, and Shanise Myers, 5. A property manager discovered the victims’ lifeless bodies the day after Christmas inside the basement of their Troy apartment. The family was reportedly found tied up with their throats slit.
White and Mann, who reportedly have criminal histories, were each charged with one count of first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder. They both pleaded not guilty.
NBC News reports that one of the suspects is believed to be an acquaintance of one of the victims; however, authorities did not reveal the details of the suspected connection, and have yet to find a motive.
“We feel confident at this point that there will be no further arrests, but it is certainly open as we continue [the investigation]”, Tedesco told reporters Saturday.
Troy police Capt. Daniel DeWolf also revealed that the murders took place on Dec. 21, five days before police were notified. It is unclear why there was such a long delay.
“I don't need to tell you how good it feels to have these two defendants in custody,” DeWolf said Saturday.