Semmes, Ala. (WALA) - The family of murder victim Stephen Lankford are relieved an arrest has been made in their loved ones case.
"We are elated that our prayers were answered so quickly. His death has been vindicated and investigators are finding out the details that we need for closure," said Stephen Lankford's neice Tesha Chambers.
Mobile County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Gigada Pearson on a number of charges including two counts of capital murder.
The double murder investigation began after deputies responded to a house fire on the corner of Meadow lane and Kings Branch Drive South, just outside the Semmes city limits.
Investigators said they found Erica and Stephen Lankford dead inside the residence with multiple injuries. Pearson is married to one of Erica Lankford's sisters.
Relatives of the victims tell FOX10 both had been stabbed and shot repeatedly.
Stephen Lankford's family isn't focusing on the motive behind their loved ones murder . But how he will be remembered.
"His legacy is a hero. He was a man who loved his family, protected his family, supported us... always there for us so he is our hero," said Chambers.
There are some mixed emotions in this neighborhood. Some people are just relieved an arrest has been made. Others are still in shock from the murders.
"It's sad. I can truly say they were nice people," said neighbor Rosie Green.
Green recalls chilling details of the night, she will never forget.
"My God there was so many people out there. My Lord Jesus, I didn't know what to think," said Green.
Green said the Lankford's daughter went to her home the night her parents were killed.
" He wanted to know if my daughter had a flash light. Cause she couldn't see anything; the lights was off. She noticed the lights were off. and when she went to open the door the knob was hot," said Green.
Alicia Hires said it was a tense weekend.
"The kids have been very nervous. We have been very nervous my kids have sleeping in the bed with us ever since this happened everybody was on the edge because we didn't know what was going on," said Hires.
Now that a suspect is behind bars, the Hires family will sleep easier tonight. But they won't forget the murder that shocked and saddened their neighborhood.
FOX10 spoke to Erica Lankford's family on the phone, they don't have a comment at this time.
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