Friday, August 5, 2022

4 found dead in 2 houses set on fire in small Nebraska town; The police suspected third-party negligence

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The two crime scenes were separated by three blocks in the city of 1,000, which is about 120 miles northwest of Omaha, and though police aren’t sure how the apartments are related, said Col. John Bolduc, the Nebraska superintendent State Patrol told reporters during a news conference that “it would be a stretch to say there is no connection.”

Aug 4 (News) — Four people were found dead Thursday in two homes that were set on fire in the small town of Laurel, Nebraska, which authorities suspect was the result of foul play.

“In all, we have four people who died at two different crime scenes about three blocks apart. Foul play is suspected in these deaths,” he said.

Police were called to the first apartment on the 200 block of Elm Street just after 3am over reports of an explosion. As they were responding, authorities received a second call about a burning house blocks away, where the bodies of three people were found.

The names of the victims have not been released and authorities are asking the public to come forward with any information.

Bolduc said that shortly after the second fire was reported, law enforcement was alerted to a silver sedan being driven by a black man who had been seen leaving town and heading west on Highway 20.

It may have picked up a passenger in the process, he said.

Investigators believe fire accelerants were used when the two houses were set on fire and that anyone who was inside when they were set on fire may have been burned.

“It is therefore possible that our suspect or suspects suffered burns,” Bolduc said.

Police were working to establish a motive and, if necessary, the relationship between the victims.

Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda noted during the press conference that Laurel is a safe, tight-knit community and urged the public to report anything that seems unusual.

“I’m not sure if people knew each other, but in this small community everyone knows everyone,” he said.

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