Opelousas Man Arrested In Connection With St. Landry Church Fires
ST. LANDRY PARISH — An Opelousas man has been taken into custody in connection with arson fires at three churches in St. Landry Parish.
Holden Matthews, 21, was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on three counts of Simple Arson of a Religious Building.
On March 26, a fire was reported at the St. Mary Baptist Church in the 100 block of Saqueget Road in Port Barre.
On April 2, a fire was reported at the Greater Union Baptist Church in the 1400 block of Hwy 742 in Opelousas.
On April 4, a fire was reported at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in the 3900 block of Highway 182 in Opelousas.
In addition to the collaboration between the SFM, ATF and the FBI, the Louisiana State Police, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies are participating in the case with St. Landry Fire Districts #2 and #3 assisting.
At this time, investigators have identified suspicious elements in each case and those elements are being thoroughly probed.
"There is clearly something happening in this community,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “That’s why it’s imperative that the citizens of this community be part of our effort to figure out what it is.”As investigators work diligently to get answers in these cases, the partnering agencies welcome information from the public.
Tips can be submitted anonymously by calling our Arson Hotline at 1-800-256-5452 or by submitting information through our online tip form which can be found at lasfm.org.