Four cousins were shot to death in a Michigan home on Saturday, allegedly by the former fiancé of one of the victims who’d previously been accused of domestic violence.
Raymond Lee Bailey, 37, is in custody in connection with the slayings after he turned himself in to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Sunday night.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that Bailey had been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of felony firearm, according to a release obtained by Oxygen.com.
‘The allegations in this case are the quintessential example of domestic victimology,” Worthy said. “As a result, four people are now tragically deceased.”
The victims—identified by prosecutors as sisters Sarah Grupa and Laura Tanner and their cousins, brothers Forrest and Neal Sampson—were discovered in Laura Tanner’s Sumpter Township home on Saturday, according to local station WBJK. All four had been shot to death.
Sumpter Township Police Chief Eric Luke told the station that police had arrived at the home after receiving a frantic 911 call from one of the victims.
“We were dispatched to that vicinity on a cellular 911 call where two people were arguing. And we pinpointed that house and we came upon the scene,” he said.
Detectives identified Bailey, Laura Tanner’s former fiancé, as the alleged shooter in the quadruple homicide and launched a search for the 37-year-old, according to a release from police.
“There was almost a 24-hour period where we just didn’t know what happened to him and where he was,” Luke told WBJK.
While the search for Bailey continued, detectives learned that he had allegedly confessed to the slayings to several people through texts or on the telephone, according to police.
Bailey turned himself in to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Sunday night around 10 p.m. after traveling about 120 miles from the crime scene, authorities said.
He was taken into custody and transported back to Sumpter Township, police said.
Before the deadly shooting, Bailey and Laura Tanner had a rocky relationship. In the fall, Bailey was charged with assault to do great bodily harm and domestic violence, but the charges were later dismissed.
Law enforcement sources told local station WXYZ the charges were dropped after Laura didn’t appear in court.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that at the time of the shooting “Laura Tanner was having ongoing problems” with her ex-boyfriend.
“This senseless tragedy didn’t have to occur,” Constance Cox, Laura’s second cousin, told The Detroit News, also urging any victims of domestic abuse to find help.
LeeAnna Robertson Yates had been childhood friends with Neal Sampson and described him to the local paper as “goofy, and very, very caring and loyal.”
“He always wanted to make everybody smile, and he always let everybody know that he loved them. And he was so loyal and protective,” she said.
Whenever the pair caught up, Robertson Yates said Neal always talked about his family, including his son and his son’s mother.
“He always talked about old times and how he wished we could hang out more, but how he was happy with his life and his son, and loved his son so much,” she said.
She described Neal’s brother Forrest as a “teddy bear,” who had a lot in common with his brother.
“He was super sweet and funny, also, and just loved to hang out and have a good time,” she said.
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