Man Arrested in Deaths of 3 Young Maryland Girls: Police

August 20, 2017 Updated: August 20, 2017

A 25-year-old man was arrested after allegedly killing his sister and two cousins as he was babysitting them.

The girls were identified as Ariana Elizabeth DeCree, 9; Nadira Janae’ Withers, 6; and Ajayah Royale DeCree, 6, according to the Washington Post.

Antonio Williams was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder and other related charges for the girls’ slayings. He’s the brother of Withers.

“Hug you all’s loved ones tonight,” according to a video message from the mother. “Hold the people you hold close tonight because I never thought I would really say this and mean this. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.”

A relative returned home from work at 7:30 a.m., finding the girls with stab wounds. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Williams’s 2-year-old sister was also found—but officials said that he or she was unharmed, according to the Washington Post.

“We are now in the midst of a major investigation into what happened to these children and who killed them,” police department spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said earlier Friday.

“During his interview yesterday evening, he confessed to stabbing all three of the children while they were laying in bed together. Again, Mr. Williams has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder,” Capt. Anthony Shartner, acting major of the Criminal Investigation Division, told WBAL-TV.

He’s currently in prison at the Department of Corrections, being held without bond.

Relatives of the victims are being contacted, NBC reported. Meanwhile, the officers who discovered the scene are being offered counseling.

“We have families that we need to be concerned about, grieving families,” Donelan added. “This is one of the most difficult scenes that officers arrived on. We have counseling services here on scene dealing with our first-arriving officers.”

“Losing a family member is never easy, especially when the family member is a child. Whether that child is your child, part of a family or part of a community, we all feel the loss,” Assistant Police Chief Hector Velez said.

State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks told NBC that Prince George’s County had awoken to “yet another nightmare.”

“We are so very, very devastated for these young, beautiful children and their families,” Alsobrooks said.