DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) - The man charged with setting the fire that killed someone in Dripping Springs last month was at the home as a guest of the house-sitter who died and also had his twin sons with him at the time, police disclosed Friday.
The new details emerged with the release of the arrest warrant affidavit that charges Joseph Alan Carnahan with arson and endangering a child. The document does not identify the female victim of the fire.
According to the arrest affidavit, Carnahan, 55, was invited to a home at 31305 Ranch Road 12, in Dripping Springs shortly after 10 a.m. on Dec. 16, 2012, by a woman who was house-sitting.
Investigators disclosed that the Austin man and his two 12-year-old sons had been invited over the night before.
After interviews and forensic evidence were gathered, investigators determined the fire was started by a roll of toilet paper set on fire in the room the woman house-sitter was sleeping in, and a second in the living room.
Police say Carnahan took items from the residence and loaded them into his vehicle before leaving the scene without notifying law enforcement nor Fire and Rescue to report the fire.
In a forensic interview Dec. 17, one of Carnahan's sons said he was sleeping in the downstairs living room when he was awakened by loud banging noises. The child also said "he could smell alcohol because there was so much."
The second child said he also was asleep in the living room with his brother and two dogs. The child said he was awakened by loud bangs and his father yelling: "What is going on here!"
According to the affidavit, the boy said in the interview that he could hear someone gurgling in the upstairs bedroom. The boy then said his father came out yelling, "Two of them killed [the girl] and the other has set the house on fire! Get your things we need to get out of here!"
The document does not say who the 'two of them" and "the other" were.
The boys told police they were instructed to move property out of the house because it was expensive. One boy said he then began grabbing property and moving it outside while the house was on fire.
Investigators found property in the garage, on the porch at the rear of the residence and in the driveway which was consistent with the information gathered during interviews.
Carnahan is charged with two counts of abandoning/endangering a child. He also faces a first-degree felony arson charge.
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