Six people were found dead at a campsite in east Texas early Sunday, and police have arrested a next-door neighbor in their murder.
Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said deputies were called to the private property near Tennessee Colony, Texas around 7 a.m. after the massacre’s lone survivor, who had been hiding in the woods, dialed 911.
Not long after the survivor called cops, the officers found a dead man and woman in a travel trailer. The rest of their party—three adults and one 6-year-old boy—were pulled from a pond on the suspect’s sprawling property at 1:15 p.m. Monday, Taylor said at a press conference the same day.
Taylor said the victims came from as far as Maine, California, and New York and belonged to two sets of families. They had been camping on a small parcel of land owned by one of the victims.
Cops arrested William Mitchell Hudson, 33, and charged him with one count of murder. His bond was set at $2.5 million. Authorities said Monday they expected to announce more charges against him.
Authorities haven’t identified the dead or released many details on the rural slayings, which were still being investigated Monday afternoon.
There also wasn’t a motive for the shocking murder spree. Taylor told reporters the victims didn’t know Hudson, who has allegedly been uncooperative with investigators and whose criminal history includes a recent assault.
“We’ve handled him for assault within the last few weeks,” Taylor said. “He was violent, but it wasn’t of this nature.”
One of the victims, who owns a small piece of property next to Hudson’s roughly 50 acres, “bought the land probably to camp,” Taylor said.
“The property the victims were on … is not a large piece of property, however, the property that adjoins them is the Hudson land and it is quite large,” he added.
Taylor said cops were led to Hudson through the sole survivor of the campsite bloodbath, and that a canvass of his property “indicated without her testimony that he possibly was a suspect at that time.”
On Monday afternoon, relatives identified the murdered family as Carl Johnson, and his daughter Hannah Johnson, according to the Maine Franklin Sun Journal.
The survivor who witnessed the attack was identified as Carl’s wife, Cynthia Johnson. According to public records, Cynthia and Carl lived in Hillsboro, Texas—about 85 miles west of the crime scene. Hannah lived in Midlothian, Texas, records show.
Also killed were Hannah Johnson’s 6-year-old son, Kade, her boyfriend Thomas Kamp, and Kamp’s two oldest children, the Sun Journal reported.
The bodies of Kamp and the children were found in the pond after authorities searched Hudson’s property, according to the paper.
Cynthia Johnson was placed in protective police custody overnight Sunday. Her son, who lives in Farmington, Maine, flew to Texas to be with her.
A friend of the Johnson family told the Sun Journal that Hannah Johnson and Kamp recently purchased the parcel where they were camping for the weekend and killed.
According to the paper, Carl and Cynthia were employees of the University of Maine at Farmington and retired to Texas. Their daughter moved there to be closer to them.