LAUREL, Neb. (KCAU) – The Nebraska State Patrol has made an arrest after four people were found dead Thursday morning.
On Friday, a person was taken into custody after four people were found dead in a small Nebraska town the day before.
The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) has identified the suspect and all four victims.
“I want to acknowledge the indescribable grief that this community is experiencing right now, and that is going to be compounded by the betrayal of trust that they’re going to feel because a community member here is alleged to have committed these crimes,” said Colonel John Bolduc with the NSP.
The three victims found at 503 Elm Street were identified as Gene Twiford, 86, Janet Twiford, 85, and Dana Twiford, 55, all of Laurel. The fourth victim at 209 Elm Street was named as Michele Ebeling, 53, of Laurel. Authorities said the four were found with suspected gunshot wounds.
Col. Bolduc alleged physical evidence at fire scenes pointed toward a person who lived across the street at 206 Elm Street from one of the fire sites.
Investigators found evidence that led them to a suspect, Jason Jones, 42, of Laurel. They believed Jones was inside his home at 206 Elm Street. The NSP SWAT Team was activated, and an arrest warrant was obtained for Jones. Authorities made attempts to have Jones exit the home voluntarily. After many failed attempts, the SWAT Team made entry into the home and found Jones in a bedroom. He was reportedly found with serious burns all over his body and taken to a hospital in Lincoln.
Bolduc took some time during the press conference to thank and talk about what he called “heroic efforts” from firefighters who responded to the fires Thursday morning.
“I’ve described them as heroic because they had a very difficult task. We asked them to put out these fires while preserving the evidence of these crimes. They had to adjust their tactics in order to do that, and they did that with great efficiency. Their efforts preserved the evidence that led us directly to the suspect.”
The officials said there is believed to be no danger to the public at this time, and even with an arrest made, Bolduc said it is still early in the investigation.
“But the work is just beginning. We’ve made an arrest. We have a large volume of evidence to process, people to interview, and we have to prepare for entry into the justice system. There will be a trial, therefore, a lot of the details we won’t be able to discuss with you today,” he said.
The NSP held a press conference at 9:30 a.m., which is available in this article.