(9/5/18) The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal is seeking the identity of a person of interest believed to be connected to the aggravated arson of an occupied home that occurred late last year in Bastrop.
The subject, wearing a black hoodie and black pants, along with an associated vehicle, are seen in the attached still frames from surveillance video at a convenience store near the scene of the crime on the evening of December 23, 2017.
Around 10:30 p.m. on the 23rd, a family of seven, all gathered in the living room of their home located in the 500 block of North Street, began to smell gasoline and smoke near the front door. The family, which included two children under the age of five, were able to flee the home unharmed through the back door.
The family told investigators that upon their exit, they spotted a black male in black clothing running away from their home. The family says the man yelled at an SUV parked nearby before it took off. The vehicle is either a black Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon.
Investigators discovered minor fire damage and a heavy gas presence around the front doorway of the residence along with evidence around the home that indicated the use of an accelerant. That evidence led investigators to a nearby convenience store where video surveillance showed a man matching the description provided by the family buying several of the items collected as evidence. That included a water bottle that the subject is seen emptying and filling with gas before leaving in the black SUV.
Efforts to identify the subject or locate the associated vehicle have been unsuccessful up to this point. The LAOSFM is hopeful that releasing these pictures will assist in developing new leads in the case.
The LAOSFM is asking anyone with information about this suspect’s identity and/or whereabouts to contact our Arson Hotline at 1-800-256-5452 or share the information through our online tip form found at lasfm.org.