An Ohio man who escaped a fire 11 years ago that killed his wife and two children has been charged with charges, including heavy murder in that fire.
Peter Romans, 59, was the only survivor of the April 6 fire in Madison County who killed his 51-year-old wife of 24 years, Billi, his 12-year-old son, Caleb, and 16-year-old daughter Ami.
Romans were arrested Monday after a specially called Madison County grand jury met a few days in London, Ohio, last week and accused him of four counts of aggravated murder, three counts of murder and four counts of aggravated arson.
The charge was unsealed on Monday.
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Peter Romans, 59, (pictured) was arrested Monday at his home in Orient, Ohio. He has been charged with charges, including a serious murder in a fire in 2008 in which his wife and two children died
Romans was the only survivor of the fire, killing his daughter Ami, 16, son Caleb, 12 and wife Billi, 51 (seen from left to right)
The Ohio Attorney General's office said it couldn't comment on why it took more than ten years to bring charges against the Romans, Fox 28 Columbus reported.
Investigators were immediately suspicious because the fire did not start at home in 2008, but in the family's Ford SUV that was parked next to the house.
Romans later claimed that he had run out to save their other vehicle and could not come back home to help his relatives who died inside.
Romans filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company and claimed that a defective cruise control caused the fire (the company has disputed these claims).
The SUV had qualified for this problem in 2005, according to the suit.
But researchers said the truck was actually submerged in kerosene, that the fire was not an accident and that it was not Ford's fault.
Due to the poor condition of the fire destroyed evidence, it took until 2009 before it was reigned to arson.
And in 2011, the Madison County coroner eventually ruled the dead as murder.
The family's house was destroyed in the fire of April 6, 2008. When the fire department arrived, the mother and two children were dead inside
Romans claimed that a defective role in the family's Ford SUV caused the fire before the flames spread quickly to the house. Researchers later said it was actually immersed in kerosene
In a 2012 statement, the Marshall State investigator, Ron Stemen, admitted that the exact origin and cause are unknown and that further investigation is needed in this case, said the Washington Post.
It is unclear what additional evidence researchers have found in the seven years since.
The case rocked the local community.
& # 39; It was a devastating fire. It was a huge fire. The house was completely flooded, & # 39; Madison County Sheriff told John Swaney 10TV. & # 39; We have never forgotten this case. & # 39;
Investigators were immediately suspicious, but due to the poor condition of the evidence ruined by fire, arson was only governed in August 2009.
Romans (pictured) is being held in Tri-County Jail without any band, and there might be a pre-trial on Friday
The Romans attorney said his client (photo pictured) is innocent
Authorities have spent more than a decade investigating the fire that burned the house to the ground with one story from the family.
The case was on display in April 2011 in the series & # 39; Killers Among Us & # 39; of The Dispatch & # 39; s cold-case murder cases, which yielded new leads and new information.
Swaney praised the endurance of the investigators, who presented the case to the grand jury last week and said: & # 39; it simply shows good perseverance from all involved, numerous agencies involved, that no one has ever given up & # 39 ;.
Romans were arrested by Franklin County SWAT officers at around 9:30 AM Monday at his home in Orient, Ohio, where he lives with a woman he married after the fire, The Columbus shipment reported.
He is being held without a band in the Tri-County prison in Mechanicsburg.
The first legal action by Romans is scheduled for Friday.
Sam Shamansky, the Romans attorney, said the timing of the indictment is curious – just weeks before the trial of Rome against Ford would appear in court in October.
& # 39; Why now? What evidence has changed after 11 years? & # 39; Shamansky told The Columbus Dispatch.
Billi Romans was a beloved receptionist at Grove City Christian School and church singer, the Washington Post reported.
Their son Caleb was an athlete at the school, and daughter Ami loved her regular boyfriend and her horse named Buster, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
& # 39; That 2008 fire affected our entire community, with the loss of Billi and Ami and Caleb, & # 39; Sheriff Swaney told the outlet.
& # 39; I think I am speaking on behalf of the people of Madison County to say that we are grateful, no matter how much time has passed, that justice will be served. & # 39;
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