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Crime News

Man Arrested For Quadruple Homicide Of Victims Whose Homes Were Set Ablaze

Jason Jones is alleged by authorities to have shot four people, setting two homes on fire in the process.

By Jonathan Gringauz
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A man was arrested Friday in connection with four deaths in Laurel, Nebraska, according to a press release from the Nebraska State Patrol. 

Jason Jones, 42, was arrested on suspicion of homicide, Nebraska State Patrol Colonel John Bolduc announced in an update

Early on Thursday, volunteer firefighters responding to a house fire discovered a body inside the residence, authorities stated earlier.

The first victim, found with suspected gunshot wounds, was identified as 53-year-old Michele Ebeling, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

Following the discovery of the body, the Laurel Police Department and Cedar County Sheriff arrived at the scene, requesting assistance from the Nebraska State Patrol. 

Investigators at the scene soon received reports of a second fire blocks away, according to the recent press release.  

Fire and law enforcement officials responding to the call located three additional bodies at the second residence.  

The victims, also with suspected gunshot wounds, were identified as Gene Twiford, 86, Janet Twiford, 85, and Dana Twiford, 55, and were all residents of the home, according to the press release.

“I want to acknowledge the indescribable grief that this community is experiencing right now," Bolduc said in an update, remarking that the feeling would 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.”

Jones, living across the street from the first home set ablaze, was identified by authorities as a suspect after the discovery of evidence at both scenes, Bolduc said.  

A SWAT team, after making numerous attempts to get Jones to exit his home voluntarily, arrested him after entering his home, according to the state patrol.

"When he was arrested, it was discovered that he had serious burns over a large part of his body," Bolduc said.  

Jones was airlifted to a hospital, and is believed to be in serious condition as of last Friday morning, according to Bolduc.

Jones faces 10 charges: four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree arson, and four counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony, according to KTIV, an NBC affiliate station from nearby Sioux City, Iowa.

A Cedar County judge set Jones' bond at $5 million on Monday, writing that he “is considered an extreme danger to public safety” KTIV also reported.