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4 found dead in 2 homes set ablaze in small Nebraska town; police suspect foul play

Aug. 4 (UPI) — Four individuals were found dead inside two homes set ablaze in the tiny Nebraska city of Laurel on Thursday in what authorities suspect was consequence of foul play.

Both crime scenes were separated by three blocks in the town of just one 1,000 people located about 120 miles northwest of Omaha, and even though police are unsure of the way the residences are related Col. John Bolduc, the superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, told reporters during a press conference that “it will be a stretch to state there is absolutely no connection.”

“Altogether we’ve four individuals deceased at two different crime scenes around three blocks apart. Foul play is suspected in these deaths,” he said.

Police were called to the initial residence on the 200 block of Elm Street soon after 3 a.m. concerning reports of an explosion. Because they were responding, the authorities received another call in regards to a house burning blocks away where in fact the bodies of three individuals were found inside.

The names of the victims weren’t released, and authorities are contacting the public for anybody with information ahead forward.

Bolduc said that soon after the next fire was reported police were informed of a silver sedan driven by way of a Black man that were seen leaving town, traveling west on Highway 20.

It could have found a passenger along the way, he said.

Investigators think that accelerants were found in the igniting of both houses and that anyone who was simply inside if they were set ablaze might have been burned.

“Therefore, it’s possible our suspect or suspects received burn injuries,” Bolduc said.

Police were attempting to determine a motive and the partnership, if any, between your victims.

Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda remarked through the press conference that Laurel is really a safe, tight-knit community while contacting the general public to report whatever seems unusual.

“Have no idea for certain if individuals knew one another but everyone knows everybody in this small community,” he said.

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