A mother and her teenage daughter whose bodies were found dumped in a well were allegedly stabbed to death by the woman’s estranged husband, according to North Carolina police.
According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the bodies of Dawnn Ward, 40, and Taylor Carroll, 14, were found in the well of a residence Thursday after being last seen the previous Sunday night.
The Medical Examiner’s Office in Greenville determined the mother and daughter died from stab wounds, according to WITN. The mother reportedly died from a single stab wound to the chest, while her daughter was stabbed multiple times to her chest.
Jeffrey Todd Ward, Dawn’s husband, was arrested on Saturday and charged the 25-year-old suspect with two counts of murder with no bond, according to police. His 24-year-old brother, Jerrett Cole Ward, was also arrested and charged with two counts of accessory after the fact to murder with a $1 million bond.
According to documents obtained by WITN, the couple reportedly had a troubled past. Dawnn reportedly obtained a one-year domestic violence protective order against her husband in September 2014, alleging he “grabbed me around my throat using his hands. He strangled me until I passed out.” She also claimed in the documents that Jeffrey Ward threatened to kill her family, according to WITN.
WITN also reports Taylor Carroll was not Jeffrey’s biological daughter.
A spokesperson for the Martin County Clerk of Court’s office told PEOPLE that the Ward brothers will be given court-appointed attorneys. The two have not yet entered pleas. Their next court date is scheduled for Dec. 14.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office was unable to provide further information at this time, citing an ongoing investigation.