A Texas man accused of killing six members of a blended family at a campsite befriended his victims and helped them free a stuck vehicle before returning and carrying out the murders, investigators said Tuesday.
William Hudson, 33, was charged with one count of murder after sheriff's deputies were dispatched Sunday morning after a report of a shooting approximately 100 miles southeast of Dallas, Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said in a release.
More charges are pending, NBC station NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
Taylor said that after Hudson helped free the vehicle from some mud, he returned to the campsite hours later and killed the six victims, The Associated Press reported.
At the campsite, inside a trailer, deputies on Sunday discovered the bodies of a dead man and woman, officials said.
Deputies learned that four other people had been at the campsite, but their whereabouts were unknown. At 1:15 p.m. on Monday, authorities found four bodies in a pond behind Hudson’s home.
Hannah Johnson, her boyfriend Tom Kamp, and Hannah’s 6-year-old son, Kade, were killed in the massacre. Also killed was Hannah’s father, Carl, and Kamp's two adult children, 23-year-old Nathan and 21-year-old Austin.
"Nothing can describe the pain and sorrow of the remaining family members," Kamp's uncle, Steven Woodruff, told reporters Tuesday. He described them as "a loving family."
Kamp had invited Nathan and Austin from California, where they lived with their mother and Kamp’s two other sons, to celebrate Nathan’s upcoming 24th birthday, and so they could see the property where they were camping, which Kamp bought in August, Woodruff said.
They went camping Saturday, after celebrating Nathan’s birthday the night before in Midlothian, he said.
Carl’s wife and Hannah’s mother, Cindy, survived, Woodruff said. He did not elaborate, but said she is "doing OK," but "it’s going to be a long process for her."
Kamp and Hannah Johnson loved the outdoors and camped at the property around twice a month, Woodruff said.
"No words can begin to sufficiently represent the victims and the honor each of them deserves for the joy and happiness that they brought to each life they touched," he said.
Woodruff said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation, but called the killings “a horrible tragedy.” Authorities have not released a motive.
"You know, time is a great healer," Woodruff said. "I think with time comes acceptance. There’s no way you can steel yourself for this kind of tragedy."