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Five People, Including Pregnant Woman, Brutally Killed in Alabama

Suspect Derrick Ryan Dearman, 27, will be charged with six counts of murder, officials said Sunday.
Image: Derrick Dearman
Derrick Dearman.Mobile County Sheriff's Office

A 27-year-old man will be charged with six counts of murder in the slayings of five people, including a pregnant woman, in southern Alabama early Saturday.

The victims were identified as Chelsea Marie Reed, 22; Shannon Melissa Randall, 35; Robert Lee Brown, 26; Justin Kaleb Reed, 23; and Joseph Adam Turner, 26. They were found Saturday afternoon inside a house in the city of Citronelle, about 30 miles northwest of Mobile.

From left: Murder victims Chelsea Marie Reed, who was five months pregnant; Shannon Melissa Randall; Robert Lee Brown; Justin Kaleb Reed; and Joseph Adam Turner.Mobile County Sheriff's Office

Chelsea Reed was five months pregnant, the sheriff's office said. Alabama is one of at least 23 states with a fetal homicide law that applies to any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability.

Derrick Ryan Dearman surrendered to the Greene County Sheriff's Office in Mississippi on Saturday afternoon and was cooperating with authorities, the Alabama sheriff's office said.

The Mobile District Attorney's Office has started the extradition process, and Sgt. Joseph A. Mahoney of the Mobile Sheriff's Office expects to have Dearman returned to Alabama within the next couple of days.

Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich told reporters near the scene that the victims had been "brutally and viciously murdered."

"There are multiple weapons that have been used," she said.

Police told NBC News that weapons included a firearm and possibly an ax.

Derrick Dearman.Mobile County Sheriff's Office

Authorities were first alerted to the crime by Laneta Lester, 24, who walked into a Citronelle police station on Saturday afternoon and said that Dearman, whom she described as her boyfriend, had killed multiple people.

Lester had gone to the house where the slayings took place to stay with a relative, although police were not sure which, if any, of the victims she was related to. Lester had been in an abusive relationship with Dearman, police said, and she was trying to get away from him.

About 1 a.m. (2 a.m. ET) Saturday, someone inside the residence called police to report that Dearman was trespassing on the property. Police responded but did not find Dearman on the scene.

Between 1:15 a.m. and sunrise, Dearman returned to the residence and attacked the victims while they were sleeping, police said.

Following the killings, Dearman then forced Lester and an infant into a vehicle and fled to his father's home in Greene County, about 10 miles west of Citronelle. Dearman went with his father to the Greene County Sheriff's Office to turn himself in.

Liz Johnstone and The Associated Press contributed.