7-year-old killed in quadruple murder remembered as 'sweet boy'

Published: Oct. 12, 2017 at 6:41 PM EDT
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A heart-sinking moment came Thursday afternoon when investigators announced that 7-year-old Devin Holston was dead.

The boy is the youngest victim of a quadruple murder at a home along state Route 93 in Lawrence County.

Three adults were found shot to death Wednesday night and Devon was reported missing.

A missing endangered child alert was issued by the Ohio Attorney General's Office as investigators combed nearby woods, neighbor's homes and the homes of friends and relatives.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said at a briefing Thursday that Devin's body was recovered Thursday morning at the original crime scene. He said it appears the body was hidden inside the home.

"Devin was a really sweet boy," said neighbor Kyle Evans. "In the summer we would take him to Bible school with us to our church in town. We're down here at this barn all the time, me and my kids, and my oldest girl would always play with Devin."

Evans has lived in the area practically his entire life and tells WSAZ he knew the victims and their family. He said he would cut their hair at his barber shop and several of the family members did odd jobs around his farm.

"When something that bad happens this close to home, it's hard to swallow," Evans said. "You see them basically every day and when somebody like that's gone that you see every day and it happens this close to home, you don't really know what to think."

Evans saw the flashing lights and police presence when he went to check on his cattle Wednesday night, right around the corner from the crime scene.

"My mom and dad live here and my grandpa owns that property where the victims rent -- one of the victims," Evans said.

As a father of three himself, Evans said it's tough to imagine being a parent and wondering where your child is and if he or she is OK.

Evans thought about the pain that Devin's father must have been going through.

"You know, he's just a baby," Evans said. "You can't even imagine. You don't even want to imagine."

After holding out hope that Devin would be found alive, Evans said it is devastating to know that the little boy had a whole life ahead of him that he will never experience.

Warrants have been issued for Aaron Lawson, 23, on three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder.

"I seen him basically every day over here so he was close to them," Evans said.

Evans tells WSAZ that Lawson would babysit Devin and his brother from time to time.

Lawson's exact connection to the victims has not been released. Neither has a motive.

The other victims' names have not been released yet.