Investigators: Man confesses to killing girlfriend, her daughter - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Investigators: Man confesses to killing girlfriend, her daughter

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Kaney and her daughter. (Source: Amy Holmes) Kaney and her daughter. (Source: Amy Holmes)
Jacob Philip. (Source: Virginia Beach Police) Jacob Philip. (Source: Virginia Beach Police)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Investigators in Berkeley County say the man wanted as a person of interest in the deaths of a mother and her 8-year-old daughter is in police custody and has confessed to the killings.

According to Berkeley County officials, 22-year-old Jacob Philip was arrested in Virginia Beach, Va., on charges not related to the deaths of 26-year-old Ashley Nicole Kaney and her daughter Riley Burdock, but confessed to killing them while in police custody.

Officials say this was an isolated incident of domestic violence.

Virginia police have charged Philip with grand larceny of an automobile.

According to a release from the Virginia Beach Police Department, officers began searching for Philip late Tuesday night after receiving information that he may be in the area. Around 10:30 p.m., an officer spotted Philip sitting in a car and arrested him.

After the arrest, police learned the car had been stolen, the report states.

Deputies from Berkeley County are expected to leave for Virginia Beach on Thursday to bring Philip back to the Lowcountry to face two murder charges.

"Senseless acts such as this have far-reaching effects on not only the families involved but our entire community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Kaney's family during this difficult time," said Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt.

The bodies of Kaney and Burdock were found inside a Berkeley County home after school officials asked deputies for a welfare check at the home.

Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said Sangaree Intermediate School administrators asked a school social worker to check on Burdock after she did not show up at school this week. When officials arrived at the Kershaw Road home, they knocked and no one answered, so they called in deputies.

The bodies were found in beds in separate bedrooms in the home, Salisbury said. It is unknown how long the bodies have been in the home.

Salisbury said Tuesday afternoon Burdock was choked to death. Kaney's cause of death was pending a toxicology report, he said. 

Residents said they were prevented from entering the neighborhood while people investigate.

The incident is currently being investigated as a double homicide.

Before the arrest, the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office had been in touch with officials with the U.S. Navy, looking for a person of interest.

Phillip is a student with the Navy's Nuclear Power Training in Charleston. He is listed on Facebook as being in a relationship with Kaney. Lt. Commander Garza  at the Naval facility confirmed that while they can not release any other information, they will cooperate fully with the sheriff's office and the investigation.

"This is an unspeakable tragedy. On behalf of the district, I offer my condolences, and  our hearts and prayers are with Riley's and Ms. Kaney's loved ones and the entire Sangaree community," said Berkeley County School District Superintendent Dr. Rodney Thompson.

Officials said the school has implemented a crisis response plan for students and staff. Additional school counselors and district-level support staff will be on-hand at the school Wednesday and will be available throughout the week.

Neighbors said they were shocked by the find.

"It's hard to believe right here in Sangaree where I've lived for 20 odd years that something this sad could happen to a woman, a mother, and a child.  And it' such a shock," said Lana Beck.

Others who live in the neighborhood said they did not know the people living in the house because they mostly kept to themselves.

An autopsy has been planned for Wednesday morning.

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