42-Year-Old Arrested on Suspicion of Four Homicides in Laurel, Nebraska
By Will Bauer , Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
5 Aug 2022, 10:05 a.m. ·
The Nebraska State Patrol arrested a man early Friday morning in connection with the four homicides in Laurel, Nebraska.
Jason A. Jones, 42, reportedly lived across the street from one of the two homes that burned early Thursday morning.
When Jones was arrested on probable cause, the state patrol noted he also had burn injuries. Because of their severity, Jones was flown by helicopter to a Lincoln hospital. Patrol said he is in custody but has not been booked for the charges Friday morning.
State Patrol colonel John Bolduc said the people of the community may feel betrayed by the crimes.
"I want to acknowledge the indescribable grief that this community is experiencing right now," he said at Friday morning press conference. "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."
The small town of Laurel in Cedar County sits about 45 miles west of Sioux City. Law enforcement said both incidents happened around 3 a.m. Thursday morning.
The victim in the first house was Michele Ebeling, 53. In the second, the victims include Gene Twiford, 86, Janet Twiford, 85, and Dana Twiford, 55. The state patrol said all victims had gunshot wounds, but it’s not clear if the gunshots or fire killed the four.
Colonel Bolduc declined to release many other details, like the motive, citing the early stages of the investigation. He said Friday's arrest would not have been possible with the efforts of firefighters to preserve the physical evidence at each home while putting out the blazes.
"Their efforts preserved the evidence that led us directly to the suspect," he said.
Bolduc said Jones was not the male person-of-interest seen driving a silver sedan out of town that state patrol had pursued earlier. Bolduc and the Cedar County Sheriff said there is no threat to the community.