Man arrested for connection to murder case

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

FAYETTE TOWNSHIP - What started as a routine fire call Thursday morning ended hours later with a Carter County, Ky., man jailed, suspected of murdering a Lawrence County resident and torching the victim's home.

John David Anderson was being held Thursday morning in the Carter County Jail, said Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton.

Sexton said he expects Anderson to be extradited to Ohio soon to be charged with aggravated murder, arson and burglary.

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"We had concerns that there had been foul play involved. We obviously suspected that (the body) was (Arthur Eugene) Boyer, who was deceased at the scene. And, we had suspicion that other crimes had occurred such as burglary," Sexton said.

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Fire Marshall were called to the scene at 2730 County Road 55 in the late morning hours of Thursday to investigate a fire.

The blaze had claimed the remote structure Wednesday evening but had not been noticed until the following morning. The investigation revealed that the remains of the resident of the house, 71-year-old Boyer, were inside the charred structure.

As the investigation continued, authorities suspected that the fire was set deliberately in an attempt to hide an apparent murder,

Sexton said.

At approximately 2:57 p.m. Thursday,

an alert was sent out for officers to be on the lookout for Boyer's blue 1988 Chevrolet Blazer that had allegedly been stolen from the scene.

The investigation continued throughout the evening and into the morning. Boyer's neighbors led authorities to Anderson, who claims to have lived in Florida until three weeks ago.

Allegedly, Anderson had been to Boyer's house previously to purchase turtles.

Sexton said Anderson had confessed to setting the blaze and that the motive for the crime had been the theft of a safe, the vehicle, five guns and other items. All items were recovered in Carter County except one gun.

Sexton said Anderson claims to have arrived at the location with two other friends who left before Anderson allegedly murdered Boyer.

The sheriff would not say how Boyer was killed.

Boyer's body will be transported to Hamilton County for autopsy.