An Oklahoma sex offender who was released from prison shot his wife, three children and their two friends in the head before killing himself, authorities have confirmed.
The killings have raised concerns over why Jesse McFadden, a 39-year-old convicted sex offender, was released in the first place.
Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said the victims suffered between one and three head injuries when they were found on Monday in a rural property in Henryetta, Oklahoma.
In the first major update on the case, Mr Prentice said McFadden would then have taken his own life.
The bodies of the victims were discovered near a stream in a heavily wooded area.
Mr. Prentice identified the victims as Ivy Webster, 14; Breton brewer, 15 years old; Michael Mayo, 15; Tiffany Guess, 13; Rylee Allen, 17; and Holly McFadden, 35.
Holly McFadden’s mother, Janette Mayo, identified her daughter on Tuesday as Holly Guess. She had married McFadden last year, according to Okmulgee County records.
Their bodies were found in two groups on the large property where the McFaddens rented a house, Mr Prentice said.
“The evidence is that Jesse McFadden murdered six people and then killed himself. Beyond that, I don’t know what his thought process was,” Mr Prentice said. “I’m not going to express a theory because I am the evidence, and I have no evidence on the motive.”
Authorities have launched a search after Ivy, 14, and Brittany, 16, who were visiting the family over the weekend, were reported missing.
McFadden was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003 for the first-degree rape of a 17-year-old. He was released for three years in early 2020, in part for good behavior.
He faced new charges of using a contraband mobile phone in 2016 to exchange nude photos with a 16-year-old.
Prior to the shooting, he had sent a series of disturbing text messages to the 23-year-old, just hours before his trial for the crime of soliciting and possessing child sex abuse images was due to start.
In the messages, he blamed the woman for ending his “great life” and that he was determined not to return to prison.
Screenshots of the messages reveal that McFadden said he was successful in a marketing job and “making a lot of money”.
“Now it’s all gone,” he wrote. “I told you I wouldn’t go back.”
“It’s up to you to continue,” he added.
Mr Prentice declined to speculate on whether that was what led to the shooting.
“Everyone wants to understand why,” he said. “Normal people can’t understand why. People who commit crimes like this are bad and normal people like us can’t understand why they do it.”
A search has been launched after McFadden failed to show up for his long-delayed jury trial in Muskogee County on Monday.
His body was later found along with his wife, son and daughters and two teenagers who were visiting the family over the weekend.
The seven bodies were found on the property where McFadden lived near Henryetta, a town of about 6,000 people about 90 miles east of Oklahoma City. The bodies included the two teenagers who had previously been reported missing.
Brittany’s father, Nathan Brewer, confirmed his daughter was among the dead at a vigil on Monday night, saying, “It’s just a parent’s worst nightmare, and I’m living it.”