KILLER

The Columbus Dispatch - - Na­tion&world -

Au­thor­i­ties had been search­ing overnight for Devin, whose name was re­leased be­cause he ini­tially was said to be miss­ing from the crime scene. But the child’s body was found in a small hid­den area of the home early Thurs­day.

“He was hid­den in a lo­ca­tion that wasn’t ob­vi­ous for law en­force­ment to find,” said Lawrence County Sher­iff Jeff Law­less, who de­clined to give de­tails.

“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.”

Au­thor­i­ties weren’t re­leas­ing the names of the other dead, all pre­sumed to be rel­a­tives of Devin’s, nor a mo­tive, pend­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion of fam­ily and a “com­plete and thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Law­less said. The bod­ies have been taken to the Mont­gomery County coroner’s of­fice for au­top­sies.

“What we have here is a hor­ri­ble tragedy,” he said.

He­li­copters, po­lice dogs and a small army of po­lice and deputies — more than 100 from a dozen de­part­ments from three states — scoured the coun­try­side for hours, hop­ing to pick up a scent or a lead to Law­son’s pres­ence. With night­fall, all but a few were called back in.

A State High­way Pa­trol air­plane with spe­cial night­search tech­nol­ogy was be­ing de­ployed.

Law­son, who has a full beard, is be­lieved to be wear­ing a pink or or­ange shirt and blue jeans. He was de­scribed as 5 feet 9 inches tall and 139 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

“He’s get­ting tired. He’s get­ting hun­gry,” said Law­less as a group of cruis­ers sped away be­hind him, re­spond­ing to one of many re­ports of a pos­si­ble sight­ing. “We want to bring him to jus­tice and make him an­swer to what he was do­ing.”

The area just north of Iron­ton, about 110 miles south of Colum­bus in south­ern Ohio, is sur­rounded by the Wayne Na­tional For­est. Pa­trol cruis­ers dot­ted the road­side along the wood­land. The search area ex­panded. “It’s a vast area now,” said Law­less.

Those who say they knew the vic­tims have been in shock over the news and wor­ried about their own safety.

Kyle Evans’ fam­ily owns the trailer that the fam­ily lived in, and he lives on a farm nearby.

“You know these peo­ple, and you see them every day, and they help you around the farm,” Evans said. “It’s hard. My heart breaks for them.”

“I sat up all night with a pis­tol,” said one man who didn’t want to be named. Point­ing to his high-per­for­mance Chevro­let Ca­maro, he said: “If he’s look­ing to get out of town, this is the fastest car in town.”

Glenna Jenk­ins lives near the ceme­tery where Law­son was last seen.

“It ter­ri­fies me. I worry about the el­derly in the com­mu­nity,” she said. “I hope they catch him.”

[DEAN NAR­CISO/DIS­PATCH]

More than 100 law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers from three states searched late into Thurs­day night for Ar­ron Lawrence, who has been charged with mur­der in the quadru­ple shoot­ing at a trailer near Iron­ton.

Law­son

Devin Hol­ston

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