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FLORA, Ind. — “It’s hard for me. When I say it’s hard, it’s mind-boggling.”

Gaylin Rose took a work break from her Northern California job just to talk with us. From the front seat of her car, she described her now, no-frills life.

“I just literally work all day from four or five in the morning until like two or three. I go home watch TV, talk to my friends, talk to my family. I really don’t do anything with my life at this point right now,” said Rose.

She left Flora about a year after the fire that killed all four of her children; Keyana Davis (age 11), Keyara Phillips (age 9), Kerielle McDonald (age 7) and Kionne Welch (age 5). Two months after the November 2016 fire, the blaze was classified as arson.

Flora fire victims (Photo provided by family)

Rose says despite having other family members in the small, Carroll County town, there were just too many reminders of the horrible loss of her daughters. Still, the memories are never far away.

Wiping tears from her eyes, Rose explained how it still haunts her, “It never leaves me. I think about it. I even sometimes go back to that place. It’s deep. It’s dark. I will never forget. Never. It’ll never go away…”

Her voice trails off, and then she adds, “…unfortunately.”

Momentos left behind

The house where Rose and her girls lived looks little changed six years after the fatal fire.

Sheets of plywood still cover windows on both floors. Charring caused by the fire is still visible. It’s heaviest on the front porch. This was the entrance used in attempts to reach the girls. Each time heavy smoke drove firefighters out.

Rose made it out. Before she was sent to a hospital, witnesses say they heard desperate cries, the girls and their mother screaming for each other in vain.

Up on the house’s porch today you’ll find a half dozen plastic bins. In them, an assortment of stuffed animals, dolls, candles, and crosses with the names of the four lost girls. The items were part of a make-shift memorial. Now, they are covered with years of dust and grime.

No arrests in the case

Asked if she has any idea or suspicion about who could have set that fire, Rose replied, “No. Nope. I would never think a person… would want to set me on fire.”

She continued, “I sometimes think that as the probe goes on and on, the less that they think about it and the more they can just sweep it under the rug.”

The Indiana State Police is the lead law enforcement agency in the fire investigation and a spokesperson insists the case is a priority. But, in six years there have been no arrests.

Rose says it’s been “years” since she’s been updated on the investigation.

Declined interviews

Months after the Flora fire, just eight miles away in Delphi, the bodies of Abigail Williams and Liberty German were discovered.

That investigation featured multiple news conferences and multiple police disclosures. Released to the public were a pair of suspect sketches, a video of a person of interest and an audio clip of a man’s voice thought to be involved with the girls’ murders.

The police disclosures were used to prompt people to call in tips. Even after the arrest of Richard Allen, state police reported that more tips were pouring in.

The Flora investigation has been distinctly different. There is a reward poster on the home page of the Indiana State Police website. But law enforcement involved in the case have been tight-lipped.

Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby denied our request to speak with Deputy Drew Yoder, who was hospitalized for weeks after three failed attempts to enter the burning building to rescue the girls. Leazenby also nixed an interview with Flora Fire Chief Todd Trent.

We submitted a request to speak with the lead investigator. State Police Superintendent Doug Carter shot that down.

In a brief interview with FOX59 reporter Max Lewis, Carter offered this cryptic comment about the Flora investigation, “There’s a couple pieces that we need and those that know what those pieces are know what I mean so I’ll leave it at that.”

“Horrible people”

“There’s horrible people out there,” Rose said, about the person or people who started the fire.

But six years later she still hopes someone somehow will be brought to justice.

“Yes. I have hope. I pray every day. I talk to my family and friends about it. I try not to be on the subject too much for my emotional and mental state, but I pray every day something comes out.”

At the end of the interview, Rose was again in tears despite her best intentions not to cry.

“Can’t help it. I’m hurt. I’m really hurt as a mother, and I would never stop interviewing. I will never stop talking to you about my babies because I have no reason to stop. And I truly feel that… every day.”