TULARE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- A Tulare man was arrested suspected of being involved in a homicide and suspected arson at a mobile home park, according to officials with the Tulare County Police Department.
Investigators say Anthony Barra, 24, was arrested after DNA evidence linked him to the scene of the homicide and suspected arson where Carol Hendon, 74, was found dead.
During the arrest, deputies say Barra had a gas can with him and violently resisted officers. He was later booked into county jail on charges of burglary, resisting an officer and a probation violation. Barra remains in custody.
According to investigators, On Jan. 20, an officer was driving when he noticed a car parked at a mobile home park in the 500 block of West Pleasant avenue looking like it had been rummaged through. When the officer stopped to investigate, he saw smoke coming from inside the mobile home and someone screaming inside.
When the officer forced entry, he found the inside of the home to be engulfed in flames. The Tulare Fire Department responded to put out the fire a short time later, according to police.
Upon investigating, officials say a 74-year-old woman was found dead inside the home.
Investigators later found numerous items and forensic evidence leading them to charge Barra with first-degree murder, aggravated arson, torture and destroying or concealing evidence.
Prior to Barra’s arrest, Tulare police received numerous reports of dumpster fires throughout the city and his arrest raised interest in possibly linking Barra to those fires and the mobile home fire on West Pleasant.
After surveillance video was reviewed, police say Barra was at the scene of the fire prior to the officer’s arrival.
A search warrant was served at Barra’s home on the same day he was arrested, and more evidence was found linking him to the crimes.
Detectives say upon interviewing Barra, he admitted to murdering Hendon and provided “intimate details” about the killing.
The case has been presented to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office which is reviewing the charges.