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LCSD makes arrest in fire death case

 

Sarah Fowler

 

A suspect has been detained in the Monday morning death of a Lowndes County woman. 

 

Chief Deputy Marc Miley on Friday declined to release the suspect's name, but said the person is a male. Investigators believe the suspect murdered Gwen Roberson at her Downs Road residence early Monday before then burning her home. 

 

Downs Road is located off of Mike Parra Road near Columbus Air Force Base. 

 

The suspect was taken into custody Friday about 2 p.m. while riding a bicycle along Downs Road, according to Miley. 

 

A press conference is to be held Monday morning, when authorities are expected to name the suspect and bring official charges. 

 

Authorities, citing an ongoing investigation, have declined to say how the 46-year-old woman died. Her death was ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner Tuesday, according to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant. 

 

Authorities believe someone set Roberson's mobile home on fire after her homicide. Neighbors reported hearing an explosion around 3 a.m. Monday before the mobile home burst into flames. 

 

District 2 firefighters responded to the scene and, after the fire was extinguished, discovered Roberson's body in her kitchen, several feet from a door. Merchant said Roberson did not die from smoke inhalation or the fire. 

 

The victim's aunt told The Dispatch that Roberson had been visiting her Highway 373 home until about 10 p.m. Sunday. Merchant, however, said Roberson left her aunt's residence between 11 and 11:30 p.m. and rode her bicycle home. 

 

Roberson's aunt said the victim had made a habit of calling her when she arrived home, but she never called Sunday night.

 

Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.

 

 

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