A young man is walked down a long driveway in a white sheet, guided by police officers on either hip.

Moments earlier he was naked, covered in mud and ranting on his next door neighbour's doorstep, allegedly offering a "crazy" confession about a grotesque quadruple murder.

The series of events leading to that bizarre scene in the quiet neighbourhood in Groton, Massachusetts in September last year, will be picked apart after Orion Krause, 22, was officially charged on Friday.

He will face court on four counts of murder next week following the deaths of his mother, both grandparents and the family carer. This is the story that shocked a small town and left seasoned police officers shaken, reports News.com.au.

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'I WOULDN'T GO NEAR HIM'

Krause, 23, is accused of using a baseball bat to murder his mother, Elizabeth Krause, his grandparents, Frank and Elizabeth Lackey, and their carer, Bertha Mae Parker.

Police were first alerted on the evening of September 8 last year when Mr and Mrs Lackey's neighbour Wagner Alcocer made a panicked phone call.

The 911 recording starts with Mr Alcocer describing the scene.

"I'm calling from 42 Common St," he says. "We have a young guy, about 20 years old, completely naked with mud, he's a little bit crazy and he keeps saying that he murdered four people. We don't know who he is, we let him stay in the backyard. He needs help."

The neighbour waits while the details are relayed to officers before saying: "I'm going to give the kid a towel."

The dispatcher tells him: "I wouldn't go anywhere near him. Do not go anywhere near him. Just let him sit there. Just let me know if he goes anywhere."

Later, in an interview with local reporters, Mr Alcocer said Krause "surrendered himself".

"He did what I asked," he said.

Orion Krause, covered in a white sheet, is led away by police. Photo / AP
Orion Krause, covered in a white sheet, is led away by police. Photo / AP

"We thought it was just a kid who was drunk or high or has mental issues. To me it was just words. He said it very calmly ... then he sat there for 15-20 minutes. He never moved, he was a statue."

Police who responded walked in on a scene unfamiliar in the town of 10,000 in America's northeast. Officer Gordon Candow was one of the first on the scene. Documents obtained by the Portland Press Herald describe what he saw.

"I walked up the step to the back patio and I could see a white male in his early twenties sitting in a patio chair," Mr Candow wrote in an official police report.

"The male was naked and it appeared he had rubbed mud all over his body. The male was also covered in thin cuts. When I approached him I asked, 'Are you OK?' and 'What's going on?' The male stated, 'I murdered four people'."

Another officer, Sergeant James Goodwin, was the first to locate the victims. In his report, he wrote: "As I looked in the window, I observed two elderly looking people seated separately in chairs facing my direction. Both persons appeared to have severe trauma to the face and forehead.

"As I walked a little closer I then saw a third victim that I was not able to see prior. The victim was seated in a chair, slouched down with the back of their head on the corner of the kitchen island."

'I THINK I HAVE TO KILL MY MOM'

On the day of the murders, Krause allegedly called an old college professor. The Boston Globe reports he spoke with Oberlin College professor James Haddad, telling him: "I think I have to kill my mom."

Asked to repeat himself, Krause allegedly said it again. It's believed police also received a phone call from one of the victims the day before she died. Orion Krause's mother, Elizabeth, phoned police to report her son "has been troubled", according to the Press Herald.

The newspaper reported Krause told Mr Haddad he had done "something bad" and "stolen money and his mother's car".

The murders rocked Groton, where local Police Chief Donald Palma called his entire staff to respond. He was left with no officers to attend to other matters in town, so called in help from out of town, the Lowell Sun reported.

Speaking at a presentation in January, he told the audience how the phone call he received on September 8 was the worst of his 42-year career.

"It's something I could have done without for the remainder of my career, but it did happen," Chief Palma said. "It can happen anywhere."

Krause is expected to appear in court on April 11.