On Jan. 23 at around 3:45 p.m., officers with the Milwaukee Police Department were performing a welfare check when they made a gruesome discovery.
They found five bodies in a home on the 2500 block of North 21st Street; they later found another. It was unclear exactly when the victims were killed.
A total of six victims were identified: Caleb Jordan, 23; Javoni Liddell, 31; Charles Hardy, 42; Donald Smith, 43; Donta Williams, 44; and Michelle Williams, 49.
Michelle Williams’ cousin, Tiffany Cole-Whittington, shared a detail about the scene.
“We were told that it was execution-style,” Cole-Whittington told WISN-TV.
“There was no bad bone in her body,” she added of her cousin. “She was not a bad person by any means. She would give and give and give.”
Ronald Smith, brother of Donald Smith and Donta Williams and brother-in-law to Michelle Williams, said the loss was out of the blue.
“I would never think this would happen to my family,” Smith said, according to Fox News.
The first indication that something was wrong for Lavinia Hardy, Charles Hardy’s sister, was the inability to contact her brother by phone. She said her brother was a kind, quiet man.
“When I called him, he didn’t answer,” Hardy said, Fox reported. “I don’t have the words for it.”
Those who know the victims have said they have no idea what could have led to their deaths.
“He took people in when they don’t have a place to go,” Smith said of Donald Smith, the U.K. Daily Mail reported. “I don’t know why somebody would do this to them. I don’t.”
WISN-TV managed to obtain court documents showing that three of the victims’ names were listed “on a witness list for a pending homicide case in Milwaukee County Court.”
At least one neighbor said she heard something suspicious going on, but that suspicious goings-on were not unusual for the area.
“I heard something, but you know, after you hear shots so often, after a while you stop paying it attention,” Alice Cartwright said, according to WISN-TV. “I heard it. But I didn’t really pay it that much of attention. Because it happens so often.
“Yesterday I didn’t see nobody. But I heard people coming over knocking. But nobody never answered the door. So I couldn’t figure what was going on with that.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman revealed on Thursday during a news conference that a woman had called to report a shooting 12 hours before the house was searched and the bodies were found.
She allegedly claimed she and several others were victims and gave two addresses, but neither of them belonged to the house — though they were all in the same area.
Authorities identified and located the woman and found her uninjured. Her potential connection to the case is being investigated.
“We are still looking into all angles,” Norman said, according to WISN-TV. “Obviously, you never want to use one explanation for a particular incident and stick to that; understanding that there might be some other angles we have to explore.
“At this time, we’re pretty sure that that is not relative to this particular incident, but we never want to take away any particular explanation for what we’re finding in this investigation.”
Norman also revealed that four adults are currently in custody in connection to the incident, but no charges had been pressed as of Thursday.