US man allegedly decapitated women during drug binge
Two US women found dead in a Washington state house fire were beaten and decapitated by a man who was high on drugs, say officials.
Matthew Leupold, 32, was having a drug binge at the house with his sister, her 15-year-old son, and the women, when he "heard voices" telling him to kill Theresa Greenhalgh, 31, and Mary Buras, 22.
Leupold was charged on Wednesday with aggravated murder and arson. His sister, Lindsey Leupold, was charged with rendering criminal assistance.
According to probable cause documents, Leupold hit room-mates Greenhalgh and Buras in the head with a framing hammer.
He then dragged both women into a bathroom, where he cut off their heads over the next hour using various objects, local media KCPQ-TV reported.
A medical examiner said one of the women was likely alive when she was beheaded.
A day after the alleged killing, Lindsey Leupold returned to the house to pour kerosene to the crime scene to destroy evidence, say officials.
Her son told police he returned on a different night and helped his uncle set fire to the house.
Lindsey Leupold is held at the Pierce County Corrections jail on US$500,000 (NZ$706,000) bail.