LOGAN COUNTY, AR (KAIT/KARK) - A man who is facing both murder and arson charges allegedly started a fire to cover up the death of the child, officials in Northwest Arkansas said Wednesday.
According to a story from television station KNWA in Northwest Arkansas, court records showed that Ricky L. Carter was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and arson after the Dec. 21 fire and explosion at a home in Logan County.
The station also reported that the documents showed Carter started the fire on purpose after first telling authorities that the fire started with a gas explosion.
However, Carter changed his story, the television station reported.
The child, two-year-old Ryatt Reese, went to Carter's room Dec. 21 and threw up twice, officials said. When Reese threw up the second time, Carter allegedly grabbed the toddler by the ankles to pull him closer to the bed, KNWA reported.
The child fell on his head and started shaking, officials said in the court records and that Carter tried CPR on the child.
KNWA reported that Carter then put the child on a bed, turned the gas on and waited 45 minutes before igniting a lighter.
According to Little Rock-affiliate KARK, the explosion happened in Paris around 5 a.m. Thursday.
At the time, Sheriff Boyd Hicks said a man and other children were inside the house, but they all managed to get out safely.