Teen son arrested for murder in California foothill fire deaths

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2015 9:02 PM

By Curtis Skinner

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A teenager was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of murdering his father and two other family members whose bodies were found in a burned California vacation cabin last month, officials said.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said 16-year-old Nolan Buchanan was arrested on suspicion of murdering his 38-year-old father Adam Buchanan, his father's fiancée Molly McAfee, 37, and their 8-year-old son, Gavin.

The sheriff's office statement said forensic evidence showed the three victims had been shot before being burned.

Firefighters were called to fight what was believed to be a wildfire near the family's cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothill community of Garden Valley on Sept. 13, officials said. They learned, however, that the fire had been intentionally started at the residence.

Authorities said a week ago that they had found three badly burned bodies in the cabin.

Police contacted Nolan Buchanan, who told them his family had gone to the cabin but he stayed behind at the family home in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Benicia, the sheriff's office said.

A search warrant carried out at the family home and the father's construction firm, Buchanan Construction Company, uncovered evidence that contradicted the teen's claims, the sheriff's office said.

The investigation into the case continues, the office said.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)