(Reuters) - A boy was found shot to death in a trailer in rural Ohio on Thursday, a day after three adults were discovered slain there, in an attack that sparked a manhunt for a 23-year-old suspect, authorities said.
The suspect in the four killings has been identified as Arron Lawson of Pedro, a small community in southern Ohio, according to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.
A man went to a trailer home in Pedro on Wednesday because he had been unable to reach its occupants, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless told reporters. When the visitor arrived, a man believed to be Lawson attacked him with a knife, Lawless said.
The visitor was stabbed in the neck and head before fleeing to another house, according to the sheriff’s office.
Police who responded on Wednesday to the trailer house after the attack on the man, found the bodies of three adults inside, the sheriff’s office said. The three people, whose names were not immediately released, were shot to death.
The body of a young boy, Devin Holston, was found on Thursday inside the trailer, Lawless told reporters.
It took until Thursday to find the child because investigators at first did not want to disturb the crime scene, Lawless said. Once they returned with search warrants, they combed through the trailer.
“This body was put in a place where it was hidden, so that was what made it difficult for our investigators to discover it at that time,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff’s office had earlier issued a missing child alert for the boy, which was cancelled after his body was found. Lawless said the boy was 8, but local media later reported he was 7.
Lawson was known to visit the mobile home where the victims were found, the sheriff said, and he lived nearby.
Sheriff’s deputies early on Thursday spotted Lawson driving a Chevy pickup truck in another part of Lawrence County and they chased him, but he escaped on foot into the woods after crashing his truck into a ditch, Lawson said.
Police have used helicopters and a bloodhound in their manhunt in an area dotted with caves.
Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; writing by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Peter Cooney