KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department has launched a homicide investigation after three women were killed early Sunday, they said.

KPD said the first victim in the triple homicide was found in the area of Division Street and Liberty Street around 4:38 a.m.

When officers arrived, they said a woman was lying in the road and died on the scene. Police said it appeared she had been shot multiple times.

According to police, they then made their way into a home in the 6600 block of Trousdale Road and found two more women who had been shot to death.

KPD identified the Division Street victim as 29-year-old Juliana White, and the two others inside the home as Mildred Blackwell, 55, and Barbara Rogers, 57. All three were residents of Knoxville.

Triple Homicide victims
Barbara Rogers, Juliana White, and Mildred Blackwell.
Tyler Trotter

KPD said the victims and suspect were known to each other. KPD said White was Blackwell's daughter, and Rogers was Blackwell's roommate. 

The suspect, Desmon Rhea, 24, was found at a residence on Burbury Lane and taken into custody without incident around 4 p.m., according to KPD. Charges are pending.

Desmon Rhea, 24
Desmon Rhea, 24
Knox County Sheriff's Office

According to court records, Rhea faced other charges in 2018. Officers spoke with a woman who said Rhea hit her in the face and took her phone away, keeping her from calling 911. Rhea was charged with interference with emergency calls. 

According to court records, Rhea was booked with the interference charge on March 9, 2020.

According to KPD, anyone who has any information is urged to call the KPD Crime and Drug Hotline at 865-215-7212.