The Liberian National Police (LNP) has arrested a the man believed to be the culprit in the alleged arson attack last month that killed five of his step children in Loguatuo, a town in Nimba County bordering the Ivory Coast. He fled across the border into the Ivory Coast following the incident.
A Police source told this newspaper that the man was picked up on 25th October in the Ivory Coast by the authorities there and who turned him over to the LNP in Loguatuo.
Upon his arrest, the LNP immediately rushed the accused to Monrovia for fear of reprisal from the family of the victims.
The accused, believed to be in his late 30s, on September 26 set his house containing four children ablaze, killing one of the children instantly, while three others, including a pregnant woman, subsequently died at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital.
What actually led to the accused torching his house is yet to be established, but unconfirmed reports reaching the Daily Observer say that the wife, Rebecca Duan, had been refusing the man in bed, leading the man to think she was involved in an extra marital affair.
But, police earlier quoted the lady as saying that since she and the man got together as husband and wife, the man had always complained about his step children disrespecting him.
The lady had four children from a previous marriage, while her new husband had a daughter also from a previous marriage.
The alleged arsonist, Arthur Duan, married Rebecca Duan when married in April this year.
On Saturday 25th September, the man bought gasoline while his wife was out sleeping with friends, sprinkled the gasoline on the pregnant woman and children while they were asleep. He then locked the door on them and at about 1 a.m. on 26th September, he set the house ablaze, and then fled to an unknown destination.
The screams of the children and the blazing fire woke residents who immediately began rescue efforts. But because the door was locked, the rescuers had to find their way through the window to rescue the children. However, one of children, a12-year old boy, Timothy Newah, was already dead.
The neighbors were able to rescue Benda Luo and Mercy Luo along with their youngest sister, whom they rushed to the Ganta United Methodist Hospital where they all later died.
It has been nearly two weeks since the alleged arsonist, Arthur Duan, was transferred to Monrovia upon his arrest and nothing has been heard as to when he will be taken back to Nimba for prosecution.