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Six slain in two states; suspect in custody

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. – Six slayings in two communities about 30 miles apart in Tennessee and Alabama are linked, and a suspect who was sitting on the front porch of a home where some of the bodies were found was being questioned, authorities said Saturday.

Five people, including members of the same family, were found dead in two rural homes near Fayetteville in southern Tennessee on Saturday, and a sixth body was discovered at a Huntsville, Ala., business, authorities said

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said in an e-mail that a suspect, 30-year-old Jacob Shaffer, of Huntsville, was in custody in Lincoln County, but no charges had been filed. She said deputies found him on the porch of one of the Fayetteville homes.

Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said at a news conference that his department is investigating three crime scenes, though he did not elaborate. He did not release the victims’ names and would not confirm the causes of death. He also did not release a motive in what he called “horrendous” killings and “one of the worst crimes Lincoln County has seen.”