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Suspect in Bastrop aggravated arson case identified, arrested

MOREHOUSE PARISH, La. - (10/12/18) The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal has identified and arrested a suspect in the aggravated arson of an occupied home that occurred late last year in Bastrop.

Rosario L. Ford Jr., 27 of Crossett, Arkansas, was arrested on Monday, October 8 in Arkansas and was extradited back to the Morehouse Parish Jail on Thursday, October 11.

Around 10:30 p.m. on December 23rd, 2017, 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 was later identified as a black 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe.

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.

Following publication of that surveillance video, a tip identifying the suspect as Ford was submitted to authorities.  Once in custody, Ford confirmed the person in the surveillance video was him, but denied involvement in the fire. Ford’s mother confirmed to investigators that the vehicle seen in the video is hers.

The LAOSFM would like to thank the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office, Crossett Police Department and Ashley County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case. The LAOSFM would also like to extend its appreciation to the local media and the public for assisting in closing this case.  


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