VERNON PARISH, La. (KPLC) - Four people have been arrested and one is wanted in connection with a house fire in New Llano late last month, authorities say.
Officials with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office say the group staged to the fire in the 100 block of Franklin Street in the morning hours of Aug. 20 to look like the result of a burglary, so that they could collect insurance money.
The home was owned by several siblings, but Daniel Kay, 55, was the current resident.
Ashley Rodrigue, spokeswoman for the Fire Marshal’s Office, said an assessment of the scene found several areas of origin, along with a number of objects left with the intention of catching fire over time. The home also appeared to be in disarray.
Deputies discovered that an illegal electrical meter was installed on the house, Rodrigue said. They also obtained evidence placing Mark Kidder, 36, and Alisha Rivers, 40, at the house around the time of the fire.
Rodrigue said Kidder admitted to investigators that he was involved in a plot with Kay, Rivers, Jason Runge, 41, and Lacie Prater, 34, to burn the home and make it look like a robbery for insurance money.
Kidder, a convicted felon, was also found to be in possession of a weapon upon his arrest, Rodrigue said.
Rivers admitted to taking items from the home, Rodrigue said.
All have been arrested except for Runge.
Rodrigue asked anyone with information about Runge’s whereabouts or the fire to call the State Fire Marshal’s Arson Tip Line at 1- 800-256-5452 or to submit a tip online at lasfm.org.
Daniel Kay, 55: Booked into the Vernon Parish Jail on counts of arson with intent to defraud, theft, and criminal conspiracy.
Mark Kidder, 36: Booked into the Vernon Parish Jail on counts of simple arson, manufacture and possession of a delayed incendiary device, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Lacie Prater, 34: Booked into the Vernon Parish Jail on counts of simple arson, criminal conspiracy and manufacture, and possession of a delayed incendiary device.
Alisha Rivers, 40: Booked into the Vernon Parish Jail on counts of simple arson, and manufacture and possession of a delayed incendiary device.
Jason Runge, 41: Arson with intent to defraud, criminal conspiracy, and manufacture and possession of a delayed incendiary device.