A Missouri man is looking at a possible death sentence for allegedly stabbing a couple and returning to murder their 17-month-year old child.
Drew Atchison, 24, was charged with several felonies for the triple murder of 23-year-old Samara Fontaine Kitts, 24-year-old Harley Michael Million and their young toddler, Willa Fontaine Million. Investigators discovered three bodies they confirmed belonged to the family buried on private land in Butler County, Missouri. According to court documents, Atchison confessed to the killings, admitting that he stabbed the young parents inside their home. He reportedly dragged their bodies outside into Million’s truck bed before returning to the house and locking their daughter in a room with the family’s pets. Atchison then allegedly went home and returned to the house the following morning to do away with the evidence. He allegedly placed the little girl into the truck along with her deceased parents and drove them to a wooded location off the highway, reports KFVS.
Court documents state that Atchison threw the murder weapon — a knife — into the woods and shot the baby to death. Investigators say he then buried all three bodies underneath trash piles and blankets, according to PEOPLE. Police say he drove the truck back home, parked it behind his house and attempted to conceal it by using tarps.
A missing persons report was filed for the family on Jan. 28, and upon visiting Million and Kitts’ house, investigators discovered signs of a possible murder. The bodies were discovered by authorities on the morning of Jan. 29. According to the coroner’s office, baby Willa was shot in the head, while her parents had their throats slashed. Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch reported that a possible motive for the homicides has not been revealed, but Atchison did know the victims. He faces three counts: felony murder in the first degree, three counts of felony armed criminal action, felony child kidnapping and felony tampering in the first degree; he is being held without bond. Several county departments including the Highway Patrol are investigating the homicides, and the case has been handed to the attorney general’s office due to its nature and need for resources. Atchison will return to court on Feb. 15, and according to Sheriff Finch, he has not yet entered a plea.
A family member issued a statement to KFVS remembering the couple on Monday.
“They were a loving family and amazing parents to Willa. They weren’t married, but they had been together for the last eight years, since high school. They both have large families who love them very much and a large circle of life-long friends.”