Six people were slaughtered at a rural campsite in a horror massacre that police have branded the worst mass murder in history.
A man and a woman were found dead in an area where seven people – believed to be two familes including one child and an elderly man – were staying.
Local media reported one of the victims’ mother, Cynthia Johnson, miraculously survived with minor injuries after fleeing the scene.
Three of those killed have been identified as 77-year-old Carl Johnson, his daughter Hannah and her boyfriend Thomas Kamp.
Kamp’s two oldest sons and Hannah’s six-year-old boy Kade were also among the victims.
She alerted the authorities on Sunday morning who raced to the “shocking” scene and found the first two bodies.
Four of the campers were missing but they were later discovered in a pond behind suspect William Hudson’s home.
Sheriff Greg Taylor from Anderson County told local press it was the worst mass murder he had ever seen.
It is not yet known how the victims were killed but police said investigations are ongoing.
One witness said they heard gunshots and screams coming from the property but investigators have not ruled out drowning.
Hudson, 33, has been charged with one of count of murder, the Anderson County Sheriff’s office in Texas said.
It is not thought that he is related to any of the victims and a motive for the killings has not yet been determined.
His bail has been set at £1.65 million.
A police spokesman said: “We handled him for assault within the last few weeks. He was violent, but it wasn’t of this nature.”