New Hampshire's big break in a cold case came 3,000 miles away in West Sacramento, Calif. Granite State authorities traveled there this week to arrest David McLeod. McLeod has lived in California for 15 years with his wife and family. The suspect is accused of killing four people in Keene, N.H., back in 1989.
Those still living in Keene today vividly remember the apartment fire 21 years later.
"Well my bedroom overlooks that house, so I woke up with all the commotion and the house was on fire and at that time my parents lived here, so I went down and woke them up and we watched," recalled Ardis Osbourne of Keene.
McLeod was always a suspect according to N.H. Assistant Attorney General Will Delker.
"He didn't live there at the time of fire, but he did visit with people there. I can't comment specifically on his relationship with this family," Delker said.
Four members of one family were killed in the 1989 apartment blaze; Carl and Lori Hina, and their two young daughters Lillian, 4 months, and Sara, 12.
"People were very distressed, particularly because there were two children," Osbourne said.
The arrest was welcome news to family members who had not given up hope there would be an arrest in the case.
"They were very pleased when we first contacted them to let them know we were focusing on this case and extremely pleased someone's been arrested for the death of their family members," Delker said.
Authorities won't say why McLeod was arrested now-- more than two decades after the fire. But they do credit establishing a cold case unit recently as one reason this case became active again.
McLeod is still being held by authorities in California. It may be some time before he is returned to New Hampshire to answer the charges.
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