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Police still investigating triple homicide near Decatur Township

Deputies searching for person of interest

DECATUR TOWNSHIP — Three people were found dead, one was injured, an eight-year-old boy was reported missing and a person of interest was sought, following an incident at a home near Decatur Township on Wednesday night.

Deputies from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call at about 7:22 p.m. at a house trailer, located at 15497 State Route 93, Sheriff Jeff Lawless said.

“Once inside, they saw that three people had been killed,” he said.

Lawless said the victims, whose names were not yet being released, were believed to have had died of apparent gunshot wounds.

He said another person received apparent stab wounds to the neck and head and went to a neighbor’s home, about a quarter mile north on the road, to seek help. That person was airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital.

An 8-year-old boy from the residence, Devin Holston, had been reported  missing following the incident, but the missing child report was ended on Thursday morning. But no agencies would confirm if the boy had been founds safe.

An extensive search of the area was conducted for the boy by law enforcement, which included the property in question, neighbor’s homes, friends’ and relatives’ houses and the woods around the area, but he was not located.

The sheriff, who was still on the scene as of 3 a.m. Thursday morning, said deputies were also actively seeking a person of interest in connection with the crime.

He said a “be on the lookout” (BOLO) alert was being issued for Aaron Lawson, 23, of 15868 State Route 93 in Pedro, who was described as 5’9″ in height, weighing 139 pounds and having brown hair and hazel eyes.

Lawson was spotted by Deputies on State Route 141, near County Road 52, driving a Blue Chevrolet truck at about 12:30 a.m. and a pursuit ensued. Deputies said Lawson crashed the vehicle into a ditch on State Route 141 at County Road 44 South, fled on foot and he was lost in the woods. Police officers from all village agencies, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ashland, Kentucky police, and the Huntington Police K-9 unit assisted in the search for Lawson, but he was able to evade capture in the darkness.

The vehicle was confiscated and will be processed for evidence by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

Lawless said those involved in the incident “were all related in some way.”

He said whether there were further wounds on the victims in the home had not yet been determined, pending further investigation. He said, while the victims had not yet been positively identified by the coroner, deputies were nearly certain they knew who they were.

The sheriff’s department would also be issuing a flyer with photos early Thursday in order to help locate Holston, Lawless said.

Rock Hill schools are closed all day Thursday as a result of the incident, Lawless said.

He said Rock Hill Elementary principal Freddie Evans had been “very cooperative in providing information to help” in the search for the boy.

Lawless said the sheriff’s department would be issuing a news release with more information soon.

He said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation was assisting in the investigation and that autopsies would be conducted by the coroner out of Hamilton County. Members of the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force and BCI&I assisted in the search for Holston.

Anyone who may know the whereabouts of Lawson or Holston is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 740-532-3525.


10-11-17, 10:48 p.m.

DECATUR TOWNSHIP – Law enforcement and emergency personnel are on the scene of an incident in Decatur Township.

— Check back with the Tribune for further updates as information becomes available.