arron lawson
Arron Lawson, left, is alleged to have murdered four people including eight-year-old Devin Holston Lawrence County Sheriff's Office

A man accused of killing four people – including an eight-year-old boy – during a gun and knife rampage inside a house trailer in Pedro, Ohio, has been caught after going on the run. Arron Lawson, 23, allegedly shot dead three adults and the child before attacking the young boy's father, leaving him with stab wounds to the neck and head.

The gruesome scene was discovered by officers on Wednesday 11 October. Lawson went on the run after a police chase just after midnight on Thursday saw him crash his car into a ditch and run into the woods.

Unarmed, worn out and ready to give up, he was arrested on Friday walking along a road in far southern Ohio after officers acted on a tip from a resident who had spotted the suspect.

Lawson was said to be an outdoorsman and hunter who liked being in the woods, but "I think he was just plumb worn out from being out in the elements" after a manhunt that spanned two nights, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeffery Lawless said.

The sheriff wouldn't discuss any potential motive or the chronology of the slayings, and he declined to disclose what Lawson said to the arresting officers.

Lawless had earlier told reporters that families and friends of the suspect were "dumbfounded" at the alleged murders, with relatives of victims saying there had been no previous signs of violence.

Lawson lived a short distance from the crime scene and spent a lot of time at the property where the bodies were discovered, the sheriff added.

The sheriff identified the victims as a 28-year-old resident of the home, Stacey Jackson, and two relatives who lived at a property on the same road, 50-year-old Donald McGuire and 43-year-old Tammie McGuire.

The father of eight-year-old victim Devin Holston came upon the scene after work, was stabbed, and fled the home to seek help. He was flown to a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, and is recovering well, Lawless said.

Devin initially was the subject of a missing-child alert after the adults were discovered. Authorities spent hours searching for him, only to later find him dead in the same house trailer, his body apparently hidden.

Lawson is still being questioned by investigators. He faces three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder.

Police investigating the killings were seen outside this property in Pedro, Ohio WCHS