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11 Years Later, He's Charged With Unspeakable Crime

Ohio's Peter Romans accused in arson that killed his wife and 2 children in 2008
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2019 10:30 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty/Evgen_Prozhyrko)

(Newser) – An Ohio man was arrested this week and charged with killing his wife and two children by setting fire to their family home. Beyond the heinousness of the alleged crime is this wrinkle—the fire took place in 2008. Peter Romans, 59, is now in jail on three counts of murder for the deaths of wife Billi, 51; son Caleb, 12; and daughter Ami, 16. He also faces arson charges. Authorities haven't said what, if any, new evidence emerged to prompt the charges, reports the Washington Post. A look at the case:

  • The fire: It began late one night in the carport next to the house, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Romans has said his wife woke him to say their Ford Expedition was on fire. He says he went out to the garage to move another vehicle away from it, then couldn't get back inside the house because the fire was so bad. Instead, he went to a neighbor's.
  • 911 calls: Both Billi and Ami called 911 from the house as smoke and flames enveloped the building. Neither they nor Caleb got out. Billi can be heard screaming at her children to get out.

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