UPDATE: Deputies make third arrest in Jackson Co. 'torture' house fire

[image]

NEW:

Jackson County deputies have arrested Daniel Martin in connection with a fire that burned down the house of Stephanie and Peter Lizon.

Deputies arrested Martin near Ripley on Friday afternoon.  He is facing first-degree arson charges.

Martin is the son of Colena Martin, who was arrested overnight on first-degree arson charges. Her boyfriend, Christopher Hill, was arrested on the same charges.  Both are being held in South Central Regional Jail.


Jackson County deputies are searching for a third suspect in connection with a fire that burned down the house of Stephanie and Peter Lizon.

Chief Deputy Herb Faber said they're looking for Daniel Martin, who lives in Kanawha County. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department is assisting in the search, according to Chief Deputy Faber.

Martin is the son of Colena Martin, who was arrested overnight on first-degree arson charges. Her boyfriend, Christopher Hill, was arrested on the same charges. Both are being held in South Central Regional Jail.

NEW:

An arson suspect accused of burning down a Jackson County 'torture' house said she is innocent.

In an interview with 13 News, Colena Martin said she is actually friends with Peter and Stephanie Lizon.

"I'm not a house burner. I may be a lot of things. I may be crazy, but I would never burn anyone's home down," she said.

Martin said she was arrested overnight at her home, along with her fiance Christopher Hill.

Martin said she had been visiting the Lizon's home over the past week once she learned they were both in jail.  She said she was caring for the Lizon's animals.

Investigators said she stole from the house.  They also said they have evidence she is responsible for burning it down.

"The police seem to think that I broke into the house to steal, to get a couple of drinks, and to take the meat and steal the eggs, and that I burned down the house because of this," she said.

Martin has been rescuing animals for years.  She said she would never torch a house with animals on the property.

Martin and Hill have been charged with first degree arson and are in the South Central Regional Jail.

____________________________________________________________

NEW: 

The Lizon's are familiar with Colena Martin, one of two people arrested in connection with the fire that destroyed the Lizons' home on Wednesday.

The Lizon's hired Martin to take care of their herding dogs, according to Peter Lizon's attorney. Several arguments emerged over how much Martin should be paid.

Police reports detail the couple's checkered past with people living in that area.

A report filed by the West Virginia State Police in May 2009 describes how bullet holes were found on a dead-end sign on the Lizon's property.  Police also found a message laden with obscenities scrawled on the sign, including the phrase, "Go back to the motherland..."


 

UPDATE: Sources tell 13NEWS the two who were arrested over night for first degree arson are connected to the fire at the home of Peter and Stephanie Lizon in Jackson County, WV.

Christopher Hill and Colena Martin are expected in arraignment court later this morning.  It is not yet clear what connection if any there is to the couple accused of being together against court orders.

UPDATE:

Two people have been arrested on first degree arson charges overnight.

Christopher Hill and Colena Martin were picked up by the Jackson County's Sheriff's Department.

13 News is working to confirm whether or not the pair is connected to a fire that destroyed the home of a husband and wife who have made headlines over the past year.

The home of Peter and Stephanie Lizon burned to the ground sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

The Lizon's are involved in a bizarre torture case.  Last summer, authorities arrested Peter after they said he tortured his wife, Stephanie, for more than 10 years.

Investigators haven't said whether or not the fire is suspicious, but said the couple is loathed by some in the county.

Hill and Colena are in the South Central Regional Jail awaiting arraignment.  13 News has put in requests for criminal complaints to see if the duo are connected to the 'torture' house fire.

Stay with wowktv.com on this developing story.

______________________________________________________

Investigators dug for clues about what could have sparked a house fire on 450 Miller Hollow Road in Leroy.

They knew two things for sure: The blaze started Wednesday night, and the people who lived there weren't home.

A fire destroyed the house where Peter and Stephanie Lizon lived sometime between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, according to Chief Deputy Herb Faber, with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

A neighbor alerted deputies that the house had burned down on Thursday morning, said Faber. No fire stations responded to the fire while it was happening.

Investigators with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office dug through the rubble on Thursday afternoon. They said it's too soon to rule the fire suspicious or accidental.

"I go into every investigation as if it's undetermined bias or expectation prior to...until the evidence leads me otherwise," said Assistant State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic.

Faber said he's familiar with the layout of the double-wide mobile home, which makes the investigation easier this time around. Deputies searched the house last summer when Peter, 39, was accused of torturing Stephanie, 43, in their basement for more than 10 years.

Stephanie later denied the accusations in a court hearing.

Earlier this week, deputies arrested the Lizon's at their home for reportedly violating a custody order for their 2-year-old son.

Stephanie's parents won custody of her son in December 2012, according to the Associated Press. Deputies said they found the boy inside the Lizon home. They charged Peter with obstruction and Stephanie with child concealment. Both were brought at the South Central Regional Jail.

The Roses traveled from Wirt County to see the damage. They said they're not surprised the house burned down.

"We saw where they live and it was always kind of creepy when you went by," said Lois Rose. "It gives me a funny feeling when we go by the house."

Baltic said a fire destroyed another home on the very same property fifteen years ago. Similar to this case, no one witnessed the fire at the time it happened. Investigators have yet to rule a cause for that blaze.

Deputies ask if you have any information about the fire, please call the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at 304-373-2290.


© Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WOWK