Suspect Arrested In Louisiana In Connection With Fires At 3 Black Churches

Police arrested Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old son of a St. Landry Parish sheriff's deputy, in connection.

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the “suspicious” fires that burned at three historically black Louisiana churches over the span of 10 days, CNN reported Wednesday.

Holden Matthews, 21, the son of a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputy who reportedly has ties to white supremacy, was arrested in connection to the three fires — which occurred on March 26, April 2 and April 4, according to The Daily Beast.

A fourth and smaller fire was reported on March 31 at the predominantly white Vivian United Pentecostal Church, located more than 200 miles away in Caddo Parish. It’s unclear whether that incident is linked to the St. Landry blazes. 

State Fire Marshal H. Browning said last week that officials believed the three St. Landry fires to be “suspicious,” noting without elaboration that “patterns” had been identified. He sought the help of community members to catch a possible culprit.

“There is clearly something happening in this community,” Browning said last Thursday. “That is why it is imperative that the citizens of this community be part of our effort to figure out what it is.”

St. Landry Parish officials said they will provide more details on the case at a press conference on Thursday morning. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to attend the news conference, KATC-TV reported. Officials from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will reportedly also be present. 

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