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Flora fire unsolved 6 years later; family of 4 girls still seeking justice

Family members mourning the girls' lives are expressing frustration at the investigation's progress and how it's being handled by police.

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind — On Nov. 21, 2016, someone set fire to a home in Flora, killing four young sisters.

A couple of months after the deadly fire, investigators confirmed they found accelerants in the home. But six years later, they still haven't found the arsonist.

Family members mourning the girls' lives are expressing frustration at the investigation's progress and how it's being handled by police.

They say it's been far too long without answers.

The house at the corner of Columbia and Division streets has burn marks on the siding, broken windows, has boarded-up doors and boxes of toys on the front porch.

There are also four candles and four crosses at the home, where someone intentionally set a fire and took four girls' lives.

The victims' great aunt, Jacqueline Partlow, lives in nearby Delphi.

"I don't come over here because I don't want to see this." she said, staring at the house.

Credit: WTHR

Indiana State Police say this isn't a cold case.

Six years hasn't solved the arson or dulled the pain for family.

"I wear their names every day. We need to hear their names," Partlow said, pulling out a bracelet from her wrist. "Keyana, Keyara, Kerriele, Kionnie, 'four justice.' My nieces were happy and full of life. They didn't want to do nothing but go to school and be with their friends and go to cheerleading. I was looking at a cheerleading video the other day and they were happy! Whoever did this, if they're not quitting, they're hiding. And if they're not hiding, they're getting told not to talk."

The loss of these young girls brings more than sadness now for family – there's also anger.

Credit: Provided by family

Partlow claims they haven't heard from detectives in years, and she's upset that police early on said her family wasn't cooperating fully with the investigation.

"That's a lie, and I want them to know - they're not doing anything for us," she said. "We've trusted the system and the system has failed."

She also feels her nieces' investigation has not been handled equally, when compared to nearby Delphi, which happened after the Flora fire.

Partlow is friends with family members of Abby and Libby and she's thrilled about the arrest in that case.

But the attention and investigation, she says, has been different in Flora.

"We're angry! Not only because they haven't done anything, but because the differences in the two cases," Partlow said. "We were here first and nobody seemed to give a damn. I just want to know what happened to my nieces. And we can rest easy."

In a statement, the Indiana State Police tells 13News it: "has and will continue to use all resources available to us in an effort to solve this crime. This is an ongoing investigation and detectives continue to investigate all tips and leads that are received."

The Indiana State Fire Marshal also has a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Family members are still confident the person responsible will be found. They want the arsonist caught, so their family can find peace.

"We're going to get justice. We're going to get it," Partlow said, "because somebody isn't going to be able to live with themselves too long."

On Tuesday, 13News learned the girls' mother has filed a lawsuit against her landlord, alleging there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond, Indiana against Birch Tree Holdings and two landlords. The case is expected to go to trial next year.

Anyone with information on the Flora fire is urged to contact the tip line at 1-800-382-4628 or visit the Indiana State Police website here

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