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KCMO man accused of killing 96-year-old woman in Caldwell County arson fires set in May

Caldwell County fire
Posted at 4:16 PM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 17:30:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, man has been formally charged with the death of a 96-year-old woman in connection to three Caldwell County arson fires set in May.

Harold Edwards, Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution, possession of child pornography (first offense), second-degree arson, abandonment of a corpse and armed criminal action, the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office announced Friday.

On May 10, he allegedly set three fires starting around 8:30 a.m.

The first fire was set near Southwest State Route D and Southwest Colt Drive and is where the body of 96-year-old Lorene Fickess was recovered.

Authorities said there is no reason to believe she was targeted.

Court documents revealed the other two fires, which affected vacant homes located on the same road, were intentionally set over the next two hours to cover up the deadly fire.

Total damages cost nearly $620,000.

In June, Edwards was arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree arson, three counts of second-degree burglary and three counts of property damage in connection to the incident, with the sheriff's office expecting more forthcoming charges.

In July, Edwards was charged with seven counts of possession of child pornography.

Regarding his most recent set of charges, Edwards is being held at the Caldwell County Detention Center on no bond.