A 65 year old Oregon man has been arrested and charged with six counts of aggravated murder and three counts of first-degree arson in connection with the slayings of three people. Edward Lawrence Nelson, of Coos County, is accused of killing his wife and a married couple who lived next door, and setting both houses on fire to cover the murders.
Police responded to a call from someone who reported they saw both homes on fire and the suspect driving away from the scene. When emergency responders arrived at Nelson’s house, they found Kathleen Nelson dead. The preliminary investigation indicates homicidal violence as the cause of death.
The home next door was also on fire, and the bodies of retired teacher Renae Cottam and his wife, Lola, both 73, were also found. The couple was both killed before the fire started. Investigators have also said that both fires were intentionally started.
Nelson was arrested shortly after by Oregon State Police. His bail has been set at $6 million. Autopsies are pending on all three victims. The investigation is ongoing.
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