DA: Oregon man killed wife, neighbors before setting fires - KPTV - FOX 12

DA: Oregon man killed wife, neighbors before setting homes ablaze

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Edward Nelson's booking photo from the Coos County Jail. Edward Nelson's booking photo from the Coos County Jail.
MYRTLE POINT, OR (KPTV) -

An Oregon man is being held in jail after his wife and two neighbors were found dead in two charred Myrtle Point homes over the weekend.

Police arrested 65-year-old Edward Nelson on charges of aggravated murder and first-degree arson.

His home went up in flames Saturday, and when firefighters responded, they found his wife, 59-year-old Kathleen Nelson, dead inside the home at 52535 Big Creek Rd.

Fire crews also responded to Nelson's neighbor's home at 52457 Big Creek Rd., and once they were able to make entry, they found the remains of two people.

Because of the conditions of their bodies, the district attorney's office wasn't able to positively identify them, but they're believed to be 73-year-old Renae Cottam, and his wife, 73-year-old Lola Cottam.

Investigators believe Edward Nelson killed his wife and two neighbors, then set the two homes on fire. He was taken into custody when he was pulled over by an Oregon State Police trooper in Douglas County.

Hot spots continued to burn at the Cottams' home hours after the fire first broke out. Officials said the home was destroyed.

Police haven't released any other details about how the victims died, but autopsies on the three bodies are scheduled for Tuesday.

As many as eight police and fire agencies took part in the investigation over the weekend.

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