A family in Paris, Arkansas has identified the body of a young child who died in a gas explosion at a home early Thursday morning as 2-year-old Ryatt GUnner Mason Reese.
The young boy was killed in the explosion and Arkansas State Police have now arrested Ricky Carter, 27, of Logan County in connection with his death. Investigators say Carter is facing first-degree murder and arson charges that caused more than $15,000 in damage.
According to court documents, Carter intentionally started a fire and caused an explosion killing Reese and damaging the home. Arkansas State Police say five people including four children were home at the time but none of the other three children were injured.
The mother was at work when the explosion happened but neighbor Lois Hutchins said she heard an explosion and quickly knew something was wrong.
"I was sitting in the front room and I heard this terrible racket and I thought somebody had had a wreck," she said. "I got up looked and couldn't see nothing, then I looked over there and saw that porch laying on the ground." The American Red Cross has provided the family with emergency funds and is working to help them deal with the sudden tragedy.
Tracy McMillen, a Red Cross volunteer, said, "Mental health services come in, some counselors from Red Cross, and they'll come in within the next probably 24 hours to also be calling and talking to the family members, the mom especially, and Red Cross will help with some of the funeral expenses."
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