A 29-year-old man, following an argument with the mother of his children, deliberately set his house on fire with his three children—a 3-year-old, a 5-year-old, and an 8-year-old—trapped inside, leading to the tragic deaths of the young victims.
According to authorities, they were able to arrest the man two weeks earlier, and he is now facing several charges, including one count of aggravated arson, three counts of second-degree murder, and three counts of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.
The police department said they learned about the intentions of the man after receiving a call late Tuesday evening from a woman, who has only been identified as the children’s mother. She reportedly told the dispatcher that her children’s father, Joseph, threatened to set the residence on fire with their kids inside.
While on call with authorities, she pleaded with them to “please hurry” because he “was going crazy.” She can also be heard in the audio of the call, obtained by a news outlet, saying, “He’s screaming on the phone. I heard the kids screaming. Y’all have to just break through the door before anything happens, please!”
Shortly after, a second call came in regarding an incident at the same residence, but this time the call was in reference to a house on fire. Fire crews quickly responded to the report, and upon arriving at the scene, they noticed the home was already engulfed in a blaze. They were able to get two of the children out of the residence and transport them to a hospital, while the third one remained trapped inside the premises and was pronounced dead later. Unfortunately, neither of the children that were transported to the hospital weren’t able to survive and were pronounced dead an hour later.
According to the police, the residence was intentionally set on fire by Joseph following an argument he had with the mother of his children. The mother was not present at the home at the time of the incident.
After identifying Joseph as a prime suspect in the children’s deaths, law enforcement issued an alert for his vehicle, and the search was underway. One day later, police found Joseph’s vehicle submerged in the river, but he was nowhere to be found until they received a tip that Joseph got into another vehicle and was traveling on I-610. Joseph was taken into custody after a traffic stop when he got out of the vehicle and tried to flee by jumping off an overpass. He was transported to a hospital for treatment before being taken into jail.
According to court records, the mother of the children, who has not been identified, was in the process of divorcing Joseph due to domestic violence.