Couple accused of setting deadly fire

September 3, 2008 6:56:39 PM PDT
A Harris County Grand Jury has indicted a couple in connection with a five-year-old arson fire that killed the couple's daughter and another child.Investigators now say the Houston couple set the fire to collect insurance money.

"Even at school we were always told that he was a fine young man," Karen Farley, the victim's mother, said.

For Karen and Raymond Farley no amount of time can erase the pain. Now five years after their son was killed in a fatal house fire, they hope the people who caused his death will soon see justice.

This week a grand jury indicted Sharon Watkins and her husband David for the deaths of Raymond Farley, 16, and Shanda Watkins, 8. Watkins, the couple's own daughter, and Farley both died after investigators allege the couple set their house on fire to collect insurance money.

Investigators say the couple had a history of collecting insurance money but it took this long for investigators to put the pieces together.

"As the evidence of the case built, it took five years to get all the information together and even still there are new things that we're learning about," said Harris County Arson Investigator Lonnie Blevins.

Investigators say David Watkins has turned himself in and he's currently free on bond but Sharon Watkins is still nowhere to be found. Raymond's parents just hope she turns herself in, giving them the peace they've waited half a decade for.

"We know that the fire was intentional but the loss of two lives, I don't think Sharon intended that to happen," Farley said.

Investigators believe Sharon Watkins is still in Houston, possibly staying with relatives in the Third Ward. She is driving a 2003 red Ford Expedition with a Texas license plate 8FM-D94. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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