LAUREL, Neb. (KCAU) — Receipts showing purchases for gas, gas cans, and other items helped officials identify the suspect in the homicide of four in Laurel, Nebraska.
The four victims were identified as Gene Twiford, 86, Janet Twiford, 85, Dana Twiford, 55, and Michele Ebeling, 53, all of Laurel.
Friday morning, authorities arrested Jason Jones, 42, of Laurel, as a suspect in the case.
On August 4, officials responded to what was originally reported as a house fire at 209 Elm Street at around 3 a.m. While investigating the scene, they found a red fuel container inside the front door and burn marks and smelled smoke.
Also inside the home officials found a deceased woman inside the back door with gunshot wounds. Bullet casings were also found at the scene, according to court documents.
After officials received a search warrant for the residence, officials found a black backpack with several receipts, one dated the day before from a gas station in Laurel for the purchase of $30 and were shown to have been purchased by the current suspect, Jason Jones. A second receipt showed the purchase of an auto shutoff gas can, a fuel tank, and a camping backpack. Security footage from a local gas station showed Jones filling two gas cans, documents state.
Officials later responded to a second fire in Laurel at around 9:30 a.m. at a home at 503 Elm Street. Inside they found smoke and soot damage, as well as three more people were found dead inside. Court documents say that all three victims had gunshot wounds.
Further investigation of the second scene shows that a pry bar was likely used to get into the home due to marks and a pry bar near the rear door. Officials said that they had also found a magazine for a firearm and a firearm. The firearm, identified as a Ruger 57 pistol, was registered to Jones. Officials also believe that a Molotov cocktail was used to start the fire.
Documents state that the gun used at 209 Elm Street appears to be a different caliber and has not been found.
Friday morning when announcing the arrest of Jones Col. Bolduc said that the press is just beginning.
Jones is currently facing four charges of first-degree murder, two first-degree arson charges, and four charges of the use of a firearm to commit a felony.
Jones was arrested Friday morning and taken to a hospital for treatment.