Boy set fire that killed his sister

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Dec 11, 2002
(CBS4) LITTLETON, Colo. Police in Littleton Monday night arrested a teenage boy on suspicion of setting a garage fire earlier this summer that killed his sister.

Firefighters found the body of Jessica Meyer, 13, in the garage of her family's home after putting out a fire there on June 7.

After an investigation that lasted nearly 11 weeks, police and arson investigators said they believe James David Meyer Jr. is responsible for his sister's death. Investigators are recommending that he be charged with reckless manslaughter and first degree arson charges.

"Mr. and Mrs. Meyer (are) very cooperative," said Sgt. Sean Dugan from the Littleton Police Department. "They wanted to get to the root cause of their daughter's death too. They knew, at some point of the investigation, it wasn't accidental and so as a parent, you're struggling with the fact what caused my daughter's death."

Police determined the brother and sister were home together alone when they apparently had an argument that ended in Jessica's death. That's when police believe Meyer Jr. put her body in the garage and started it on fire.

Meyer Jr., 15, appeared in court Tuesday morning and was ordered to be held without bond. Formal charges were expected to be filed Friday morning.

CBS4 legal analyst Andrew Cohen said it's not uncommon for someone Meyer's age to be charged as an adult when the crime is as serious as this one was.

The family's home remains boarded up. Family members had not yet moved back into the house.


Jan 21, 2006
LITTLETON, Colo. -- The older brother of a teen who died mysteriosly in a garage fire was charged Friday as an adult.

James Meyer, 15, faces charges of first-degree arson and manslaughter. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond.

His sister, 13-year-old Jessica Meyer, was found dead in her home on June 7. Her body was found in the burned garage of the family's home in the 8000 block of South Logan Drive. Police said a fight between the siblings may have led to her death.

"We believe that he started the fire to conceal her death or at least the cause of her death," said Sean Dugan, a spokesman for the Littleton Police Department.

Dugan said investigators know that the fire was not accidental, there was no sign of forced entry and that James was next door with a friend when she died.

"We feel very strongly that (his) involvement is directly related to Jessica's death," Dugan said.

It took police two months and several interviews to come up with that conclusion. However, many of the boy's friends at Heritage High School don't believe it.

"He didn't have anything to do with it," one friend told reporters.

"We feel absolutely outraged that anyone would try and charge him ... for killing his sister," another friend added.

Jessica's autopsy results have been sealed, but police said she died of fire-related injuries.

They are going to Charge him as an adult. I got that from the
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