Suspect in 4 Ohio slayings arrested after search

Kantele Franko
Associated Press

Columbus, Ohio — The man suspected of fatally shooting a 7-year-old boy and three adults was arrested Friday as he walked along a southern Ohio road after a dayslong manhunt, a sheriff said.

Authorities located 23-year-old Arron Lawson after receiving a tip from someone who spotted him, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeffery Lawless said. He seemed worn out, the sheriff said.

Lawson is being held on charges of murder and aggravated murder. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

He was arrested roughly 12 miles south of where authorities found three adults dead in a house trailer on Wednesday evening and later found the body of 7-year-old Devin Holston apparently hidden.

A fourth adult who was stabbed at the home fled and was flown to a hospital.

Deputies had spotted Lawson early Thursday in a blue truck in Ironton, about 15 miles south of where the victims’ bodies were found in a trailer home, but they lost him after a brief chase when he crashed into a ditch and ran into the woods in the dark, Lawless said.

The youngest victim, Devin Holston, initially was the subject of a missing-child alert after the other bodies were found Wednesday evening. Authorities spent hours searching for him, only to later find the boy dead in the same house trailer, his body apparently hidden, Lawless said.

A fourth adult who came upon the scene after work was stabbed there and fled to seek help, the sheriff said. That victim was later flown to a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, that wasn’t giving updates about the person’s condition.

Lawson lived just up the road from the trailer home.

Lawless told the Ironton Tribune that Lawson was related to some of the victims, but the sheriff hasn’t discussed what might have motivated the killings. The sheriff’s office has said releasing further information would compromise the investigation.

Agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation have been helping Lawrence County with the case, BCI spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said.

The initial report about the slayings — violence against multiple people believed to be related — recalled details from a still-unsolved homicide case that rattled rural southern Ohio last year, but the cases didn’t appear to be connected, Del Greco said.

The deaths on Wednesday occurred roughly 40 miles southeast of the Piketon area, where eight people from the Rhoden family were found shot to death in four homes in April 2016.