Laurel homicide suspect arrested, 4 victims identified
Four people were found dead in two crime scenes in Laurel, Neb.
LAUREL, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska State Patrol arrested a man on suspicion of killing four people on his street in the small northeast Nebraska town of Laurel.
NSP Col. John Bolduc said 42-year-old Jason A. Jones was taken into custody shortly after 2:30 a.m. Friday, one day after the murders.
“I want to acknowledge indescribable grief that this community is experiencing right now and that’s 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,” Col. Bolduc said.
The investigation includes two crime scenes on Elm Street in Laurel. All four victims have suspected gunshots wounds and both homes were set on fire, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.
According to NSP, Gene, 86, and Jan Twiford, 85, and their adult daughter, Dana, 55, were found dead in their home at 503 Elm St., and 53-year-old Michelle Ebling, was found dead at 209 Elm St.
Physical evidence located at both scenes led investigators to identify Jones as a suspect. Investigators developed information to believe that Jones was inside his home at 206 Elm Street in Laurel. The NSP SWAT Team was activated, and an arrest warrant was obtained for Jones. Following repeated attempts to have Jones exit the home voluntarily, the SWAT Team made entry into the home and located Jones in a bedroom, with severe burns.
Jones was flown to CHI Health St. Elizabeth in Lincoln for treatment of his burn injuries. He is in custody at the hospital.
“There is no more danger to Laurel or northeast Nebraska as a result of this arrest,” Col. Bolduc said.
More than 60 law enforcement officers were on scene in the town of Laurel, which has a population of just over 1,000 people.
Col. John Bolduc praised the efforts of firefighters, who had the tough task of putting out the fires at the two homes while preserving evidence.
“Their efforts preserved the evidence that led us directly to the suspect,” Col. Bolduc said.
The investigation remains ongoing. Several agencies have been involved in the response and investigation, including the volunteer fire departments of Laurel, Wayne, and Beldon, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Cedar County Attorney, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, as well as the Laurel Police Department, Cedar County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nebraska State Patrol.
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