Montana Man and Woman Allegedly Kill 2 in Basement and Leave Victims' Bodies in Tubs Full of Chemicals
A man and woman in Montana have been accused of stabbing two people to death and then trying to dissolve their bodies with chemicals in plastic tubs
A man and woman in Montana have been accused of stabbing two people to death and then leaving their bodies in chemical-filled plastic tubs, PEOPLE confirms.
Authorities have not released several key details in the grisly crime, such as a possible motive, but court documents provide some insight into the investigation, including one suspect’s alleged confession to her roommate.
Tiffanie Pierce, 23, and Augustus Standingrock, 26, of Missoula, Montana, were arrested on Friday and charged with deliberate homicide and accountability to deliberate homicide in the deaths of a man and a woman on Thursday.
Police have not named the victims, whose bodies were found in the basement of a Missoula home where Pierce lived. Both victims died of stab wounds, according to investigators.
On Monday, the suspects made initial appearances in Justice Court in Missoula but did not enter pleas. Their bail was set at $2 million as the prosecution argued they were a danger to others.
“There’s no combination of [release conditions] that would ensure that members of our community would be safe,” Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst told Justice of the Peace Marie Andersen, the Missoulian reports.
Neither suspect has retained an attorney but will be represented by the public defender’s office, according to prosecutors, who declined further comment.
Awoken by a Woman’s Screams
Authorities learned of the Thursday slayings when a confidential informant came to the Missoula City Police Department later that same day to report that that a friend who lives with Pierce had come to his home in the middle of the night claiming Pierce and Standingrock had “stabbed someone,” according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
Awoken at their home by “a lady screaming,” Pierce’s roommate said he went into the kitchen and saw blood all over the floor, the complaint states.
Just before Pierce and Standingrock were about to take a shower to wash the blood off themselves, Pierce allegedly told her roommate that she and Standingrock had stabbed a girl, according to the complaint. The dead body was in the basement, Pierce allegedly said.
The roommate said he left after telling Pierce “he didn’t want to know or be involved,” the compliant states.
Bodies Placed in ‘Plastic Tubs Filled with Chemicals’
Later that day, Pierce allegedly continued her confession when she came to where the roommate worked, saying that she and Standingrock “killed a couple people last night,” the complaint shows.
She said Standingrock, who was at home bleeding, had brought a couple of people over, taken them into the basement and then attacked one of them, the complaint claims, further alleging that when the second person tried to get away, “[Pierce] got the other one.”
Her relationship to Standingrock is unclear.
At her roommate’s work, “Pierce was ‘freakin’ out’ and she stated she’s ‘probably gonna go to prison,’ ” according to the complaint.
Armed with a search warrant, police officers went to her home and found the couple allegedly trying to flee out the back door. Police say Standingrock had a bloody cloth around his hand and was at first holding a gun, but he later dropped it.
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Officers found the handgun in a stairwell and two bodies in the basement, as Pierce had described — one male and one female.
“The bodies had been placed into plastic tubs filled with chemicals,” the criminal complaint charges. Investigators also found knives and an ax covered in blood and what appeared to be human tissue.
Authorities said they learned that Pierce had recently purchased cleaning agents, plastic tubs and the same chemicals used in the tubs where the bodies were found, the complaint states.
The investigation continues.