Sergeant J.E. Shriver of the West Virginia State Police stated that law enforcement has cleared five or six persons of interests since beginning their investigation into a deadly Littleton house fire that occurred on Jan. 14.
Although DNA testing is ongoing, investigators believe the fire killed three individuals, including Jimmy Kisner, 48, of Aleppo, Pa., and Carmen McDougal, 55, and Michael McDougal, 63, who both resided in the house that was destroyed.
Shriver says law enforcement has been working on the case full-time ever since it happened. "Our investigation has lead us to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and locally, obviously," he noted.
Shriver stressed that any information, even small information, is needed. "Any small detail . . . something that may not seem pertinent, could be the break we need to solve this," he stated, adding that Trooper J.R. Kocher from the Moundsville state police detachment has been helping with the investigation.
On April 17, Shriver stated to the Wheeling Intelligencer that the community in Littleton "is frightened by what happened."
"But people also want answers," he stated. "They realize that three lives were taken. And the families want closure."
"We are having trouble finding a motive," he said. "We are not sure if one or two of them may have been the targets, while the other was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or what."
The home was the only house on the very narrow, bumpy, and muddy road. Firefighters and emergency services workers could not reach the McDougals' home with their normal vehicles, as they had to resort to pulling a hose to the scene to extinguish the fire, which destroyed the structure, along with some nearby vehicles.
However, Shriver does not believe the victims could have been rescued because the blaze was so large and intense.
"They did the best they could," Shriver said. "Even if they would have made it there 10 minutes earlier, it still would have been gone. It was completely engulfed."
Anyone with information concerning the case should contact the Hundred detachment of the State Police at 304-775-4488.
According to the fire marshal's office, any information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arson suspect may result in a reward up to $5,000. The arson hotline number is 1-800-233-3473.