US & Canada

Body found in Pennsylvania 'killer' manhunt

Police searched in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania. on 16 December 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Bradley William Stone was sought in connection with the death of his ex-wife and her family

A body found in Pennsylvania has been identified as belonging to an Iraq War veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives.

The body of Bradley Stone was found in a wooded area near his home on Tuesday, bringing to an end a 36-hour manhunt.

Mr Stone, 35, had been sought in connection with the fatal shootings of six people near Philadelphia on Monday.

His ex-wife, her mother, her grandmother, her sister, her sister's husband and their daughter were killed.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman told reporters that police found Mr Stone's body about half a mile from his home in Pennsburg.

He died of "self-inflicted cutting wounds" to the centre of his body, she said.

Reports said the shootings may have been triggered by a custody dispute.

"[Ex-wife Nicole Stone] would tell anybody who would listen that he was going to kill her and that she was really afraid for her life," Evan Weron, a neighbour in Harleysville, told the Associated Press news agency.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police removed Stone's beard digitally when they appealed for help

Mr Stone had reportedly filed an emergency motion to the court earlier this month, although those records are currently sealed.

The shootings in Souderton, Lansdale and Harleysville began at about 04:00 local time (09:00 GMT) on Monday.

The first took place at the home in Souderton of Mr Stone's former sister-in-law, Patricia Flick. She was killed along with her husband, Aaron Flick, and the couple's daughter, Nina, 14. The couple's 17-year-old son, Anthony Flick, was badly wounded.

He is currently in very serious but stable condition in hospital, authorities said.

The next shooting was at a house in nearby Lansdale where Nicole Stone's mother, Joanne Hill, and grandmother Patricia Hill were killed.

Image copyright AP

Nicole Stone was later killed at her home in Harleysville. Neighbours reported seeing Mr Stone fleeing with their two children and raised the alarm.

The children were found safe a short distance away, and Mr Stone's current wife and infant child were also secured.

It was the second large-scale manhunt in Pennsylvania in the last few months.

Eric Frein spent 48 days on the run after a September ambush in which he killed a police officer.