NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Virginia man suspected in the deaths of his wife and her three children found in their burned apartment was arrested Saturday in South Carolina.
Newport News police said in a press release that John Moses Ragin, 36, was taken into custody Saturday after he called detectives to say he was in Manning, S.C. Police said they were bringing Ragin back to Virginia after obtaining warrants for four counts of murder. Additional charges were pending, including arson and use of a weapon in the commission of a felony, spokesman Harold Eley told The Associated Press.
Police were called to the family's apartment because of a fire Friday when they found four bodies. Police have identified them as 32-year-old Crystal Ragin and her children, 15-year-old Sierra, 10-year-old Rasheed and 6-year-old Lakwan. Officials say each suffered apparent knife wounds and exposure to the fire, but a medical examiner was to determine how each died. Police did not say when the victims were killed.
During the joint fire and death investigation, police learned the couple's 5-year-old son and John Ragin were missing from the apartment. The child was found unharmed Friday evening with family members in South Carolina.
Neighbors told the Daily Press (http://bit.ly/oU4xcD ) the family had been in the apartment for only a few months.
Lauren Nelbach said her husband often worked on John Ragin's car and that he would often travel to New York.
"He was trying to be a rapper," Nelbach told the newspaper, adding that the mother was in the military.
Desmond Clemons told the newspaper that Crystal Ragin was his team leader when they served in Iraq.
"She was a real good leader," Clemons said, according to a video interview. "I know she was a loving mother. She used to always talk about her kids downrange. It's just heartbreaking to see this happen down here when you know she spent almost two years in Iraq."
Ashley Simmons said she also reported to Ragin. "She used to always talk about her family every day. That's all she lived for. She had a smile on her face. She never bothered nobody. She was just a loving mother and like he said, I can't believe it. I can't. It's a tragedy."
Eley said he couldn't confirm whether Crystal Ragin was in the military.
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