ISP have identified persons of interest in fatal Flora fire that killed four girls

Photo from scene in Flora on Nov. 21, 2016

FLORA, Ind. – Indiana State Police have confirmed that they have identified persons of interest in the fatal Flora fire back in November.

The fire claimed the lives of four young sisters; Keyana Davis, 11, Keyara Phillips, 9, Kerriele McDonald, 7, and Konnie Welch, 5, after they were trapped inside the home in the 100 block of E. Columbia St.

State Police tell FOX59 that they are “watching” several people who may have something to do with the fire.

“We’re watching some people. That’s all I can say about that,” said ISP Superintendent Doug Carter.

CBS4’s Aishah Hasnie asked, “Would you call them persons of interest?”

Carter replied, “I would.”

He also added, “People continue to talk. And we want them to continue that. There are things that happened inside that house that only the person who set that fire knows.”

This development comes as State Police establishes it is the lead agency in the Flora case after a breakdown in communication. Carter said taking the lead wouldn’t change the investigation, rather “make it have a singular focus and I think that’s what it needs.”

He did not believe the breakdown in communication delayed the resolution of this investigation in any way.

The victims’ mother, Gaylin Rose, hoped the latest developments would speed up the investigation and bring her and her family a closure.

“I want him to do the right thing, you know, do his job. Do what he’s supposed to do. Show me something different,” said Rose.

She had previously complained she wasn’t getting answers from investigating agencies or help in raising the reward money.

Carter said he would want to have a conversation with Rose, starting with an apology for her tragic loss.

“As long as I am breathing air and am Superintendent of this agency, we are not leaving Flora and we are not leaving Delphi. That’s what I would say to her,” said Carter.

The fire is believed to be intentionally set after accelerants were reportedly found in several locations in the home.

Anyone with information about the case should contact the Indiana State Arson Hotline at 1-800-382-4628. Callers may receive up to a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible.

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