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Two dead in overnight fire; one missing; victims identified; teen arrested

UPDATE 4 FROM MCSO: As you know on Thursday, February 27, 2020, at approximately 3:30 am the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Monroe County Emergency services responded to a residential fire on Old Zebulon Road in Monroe County. Upon arrival, the house was fully engulfed and Firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, Investigators discovered two bodies in the home. During the initial investigation, Investigators discovered that the homeowner/renters, Tasha Vandiver’s vehicle was missing. The Sheriff’s Office immediately entered the vehicle’s information into the system. At approximately 4:00pm, authorities from the McCraken County Sheriff’s Office (in western Kentucky) contacted us stating that they had stopped Vandiver’s vehicle and inside the vehicle was Candace Walton. Authorities took Walton into custody and two Investigators traveled to McCracken County to speak with Walton. Upon further Investigation, enough probable cause was obtained to charge 16 year old Candace Walton with Two (2) counts of Felony Murder, Arson, and multiple counts of Theft by Taking. Walton’s picture is below. At this time, we are still waiting on the GBI Crime Lab to positively identify the bodies found in the home. UPDATE 3: Sources tell The Herald Gazette the mother, Tasha Vandiver, actually died in the fire and the Monroe County coroner misidentified the body. The daughter, Candice Walton, is being questioned and is suspected of setting the fatal fire. UPDATE 2 FROM LEWIS: We have just received information that the female individual in the residential fire is not Candice Walton. At this time, we are unsure of the identification of the female and we will wait for positive identification to come from the GBI Crime Lab on both individuals. Also, we will not comment on the information that we have received just yet. We will update as more information is available. In addition, we have located the white Chevrolet Malibu. We will not comment at this time where the vehicle was located. UPDATE FROM ANNA LEWIS, MCSO: Preliminary reports indicate that the deceased are siblings, Candice Walton (16 years of age) and Gerald Walton (21 years of age). Both bodies have been sent to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy and positive identification. The homeowner/renter and mother of the siblings, Tasha Vandiver, was not located at the residence. Tasha has been entered as missing and we are unsure at this time if she is in any danger. Tasha drives a white 2007 Chevrolet Malibu bearing a Georgia tag (tag # RSD8160). The US Marshall Services are assisting in locating Vandiver. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Emergency Services and the State Fire Marshall are investigating the cause of the fire at this time. We are the public that if you have any information regarding the fire or if you know the whereabouts of Tasha Vandiver, please contact the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at 478-994-7043 or your local law enforcement agency. ’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢’¢ Two siblings, approximate ages 18 and 20, were killed in an overnight structure fire on Old Zebulon Road in Monroe County. Firefighters responded about 3:30 a.m. Once the fire was extinguished, two bodies were found. Authorities are working to positively identify them. State arson investigators are on the scene. Old Zebulon Road connects Ga. Hwy. 83 and Ga. Hwy. 42 in southwestern Monroe – not far from Redbone.

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