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Death Toll Hits 7 in Tennessee Slayings

Cops found 2 more bodies while processing crime scene
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2019 7:23 AM CDT
This booking photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Michael Cummins.   (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via AP)

(Newser) – Police investigating five murders in Tennessee on Saturday made an additional horrific find: Two more bodies in one of the two homes that were searched in rural Sumner County. Michael Cummins, the 25-year-old suspect in all seven slayings, was taken into custody after a massive manhunt Saturday night. Police say Cummins was shot in the leg after being cornered in a creek bed about a mile away from where the killings took place, the Tennessean reports. Police believe he is related to at least some of the victims, which include a 12-year-old girl. Authorities say that six bodies and a seriously injured person were found at one home and the body of a woman was found at a second home, where Cummins apparently stole a car.

No motive in the killings has been disclosed. Sheriff Sonny Weatherford has confirmed that Cummins has an extensive criminal record and pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated arson and aggravated assault last year. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to offenses including domestic assault and evading arrest. "We've never had this many deceased people in a criminal case before,” Ray Whitley, who has been Sumner County district attorney general for 30 years, tells the New York Times. "It's pretty shocking to everybody." He says no weapon has been recovered. "I think everybody assumed that it was shooting, but that might be a false assumption," he says. (Read more Tennessee stories.)

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