BATON ROUGE, La (LOCAL 33)(FOX 44)- A Livingston murder suspect is now the victim of, what witnesses are calling, a potential arson attempt.
Errol Hicks, 68, shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Carol Hutchinson, 48, a month ago, after she tried to run away from his gunshots. Hutchinson made it three houses down from the home she shared with Hicks, before being gunned down in a neighbors driveway.
Exactly one month later on Oct. 28, next-door neighbors noticed fire engulfing the inside of Hicks’ home.
Laura Kydd, one of his neighbors, said the inside of Hicks’ house was destroyed by the flames.
“I woke up at 5:30 to the sound of fire trucks,” Kydd said. “By then the house was fully ablaze on the inside. There was nothing left.”
Hicks wasn’t home at the time of the murder. He was already arrested and booked in Livingston Parish Jail under suspicion of Hutchinson’s murder. Kydd said both the murder and house fire were eye-opening experiences.
“When you see somone you know very well or you think you know very well and he’s been a good person…” Kydd said. “You know watching this and then the fire, it’s all been very traumatic.”
The Fire Marshall’s Office is still investigating the cause of the blaze. Ashley Rodrigue, a spokesperson for the agency, said the level of damage will slow the investigation results.
“Not a lot was left on that scene which makes it very difficult. That’s all the evidence,” Rodrigue said. “When all the evidence is literally up in smoke they’ve got a lot harder job to work on to try to figure out that origin and that cause.”
Currently, the cause of the fire is unknown, but some witnesses believe that the date of the fire corresponds too closely with the date of Carol Hutchinson’s death. Hutchinson was murdered on Sept. 28 and the house fire was Oct. 28.