A 7-year-old boy’s body was found “hidden” inside a Lawrence County, Ohio, home a day after three adults were shot dead inside the same home, according to authorities.
Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless confirmed in a news conference on Thursday afternoon that Devin Holston was the youngest victim of a quadruple shooting murder.
Initially it was thought that the 7-year-old with the “bubbly personality and enthusiasm for school” was missing after three adults were found dead and another injured in a trailer home on Wednesday night.
Sadly police discovered the little boy’s body the following day after researching the home.
The fifth living victim was stabbed in the neck and head but was able to escape and seek help at a neighbor’s home. The victim was airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia.
“The names of the victims are not being released at this time pending positive identification and notification of next of kin,” the Lawrence County Sheriff’s office announced on Thursday. “We are in the very early stages of this investigation and cannot compromise this investigation by divulging more information at this time.”
A missing endangered child alert was issued for Devin by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office but was later called off on early Thursday morning after investigators found Devin’s body was “hidden” in the home, according to Lawless, who also told the Ironton Tribune that “those involved in the incident were all related in some way.”
Warrants have been issued for Aaron Lawson, 23, on three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder.
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Lawson was spotted driving a Blue Chevrolet truck at approximately 12:30 a.m. when a pursuit ensued. Officials said Lawson crashed the vehicle into a ditch and fled on foot into the woods.
“I searched in our computer system and have no record of him,” Lawless said of Lawson not having a criminal background. “We’ve been talking to family and friends, and everyone is dumbfounded. … We’re going to get him, we won’t quit until we do.”
Devin’s neighbor, Kyle Evans, told local news outlet WSAZ that Lawson would babysit Devin and his brother from time to time.
“Devin was a really sweet boy,” said Evans, who would often cut Devin’s hair at his barbershop. “In the summer we would take him to Bible school with us to our church in town. We’re down here at this barn all the time, me and my kids, and my oldest girl would always play with Devin.”
Adding, “You know, he’s just a baby. You can’t even imagine. You don’t even want to imagine.”
Devin, a second-grader at Rock Creek Elementary, was also remembered as having a “bubbly personality and enthusiasm for school,” according to his teachers who spoke to The Record-Courier.
“Devin was widely liked by all the staff and students,” said Wes Hairston, superintendent of Rock Creek Local Schools. “It’s a tragedy that someone this young would perish by someone in a senseless act of hate or violence.”