TACOMA, Wash. – A Washington state man is accused of brutally killing two women, decapitating them and then trying to set a house on fire to hide the evidence.
Pierce County prosecutors said 32-year-old Matthew Leupold attacked the women during a drug binge at a house in Tacoma’s Lincoln District, according to KCPQ-TV.
Leupold was charged Wednesday with two counts of aggravated murder and one count of first-degree arson after he allegedly told police that he “heard voices” telling him to kill Theresa Greenhalgh, 31, and Mary Buras, 22, in the middle of the night Jan. 4.
Lindsey Leupold, Matthew’s sister, was charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance in the case.
The Leupolds were using drugs with the two women in the house at 3714 S. Yakima Ave when Matthew Leupold said he began hearing voices, according to court documents. Leupold allegedly hit Greenhalgh in the head with his fists and a framing hammer. He said he then went after Buras, hitting her in the head with the hammer as well.
Leupold told police he then dragged both women into a bathroom, where he spent the next hour cutting their heads off with various objects.
The medical examiner said one of the women was likely alive when she was decapitated.
Lindsey Leupold told police she and a boy who was also in the room at the time of the alleged attack left the house. She said she came back the next day and tried to help her brother clean up the scene.
The boy also told police he came back on a different night and helped Matthew Leupold pour kerosene on the crime scene and light the house on fire, according to the document.
It’s not clear who the boy was or why he was in the house.
The boy later led detectives to a backpack containing one of the women’s heads, prosecutors said.