By Joseph Ax
(Reuters) - A 27-year-old Mississippi man murdered five people, including a pregnant woman, at a home in rural Alabama early on Saturday before kidnapping his estranged girlfriend and her infant son, authorities said on Sunday.
Derrick Dearman is facing six counts of capital murder - including the unborn child - after breaking into the house in Citronelle, Alabama, where his former girlfriend had been staying in an effort to get away from him, according to Paul Burch, a spokesman for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
Burch said a resident of the home called 911 between midnight and 1 a.m. on Saturday to report that Dearman was trespassing on the property. Dearman fled before officers arrived and could not be found.
Later that night, Burch said, Dearman returned to the house and attacked the occupants while they were sleeping, using multiple weapons, including guns.
He kidnapped his estranged girlfriend and her 3-month-old child from the home and drove them to Mississippi, Burch said. Following a conversation with his father, Dearman released the woman and infant and turned himself into authorities.
Burch said Dearman “is cooperating” with investigators.
The woman, meanwhile, returned to Citronelle, a community of some 3,900 people, 30 miles (48 km) north-northwest of Mobile, and told police there what had happened.
One of the victims was the girlfriend’s sister, Burch said. The names of the victims had not yet been released, and Burch said police were still determining the precise relationships between them.
Dearman is still in custody in Mississippi and will likely be extradited to Alabama this week, Burch said.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Toby Chopra)