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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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August 9, 2017

 

Arrest in Guthrie Center Fire Investigation

GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa -- Law enforcement officers with the Guthrie County Sheriff’s office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Ames Police Department arrested Patrick Ryan Thompson, 26, in Ames, Iowa.  Thompson was then transported to the Guthrie County Jail where he is being held.  Thompson is being charged with 2 counts of Murder in the First Degree, 2 counts of Attempted Murder, and 1 count of Arson in the First Degree.

On May 15, 2017, at 12:35am, a 911 call was received at the Guthrie County Sheriff’s office reporting a house fire at 1005 Main Street in Guthrie Center.  The home was owned by Shirley Exline, 74.  The house was completely destroyed by the fire.  An investigation conducted by the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office concluded that the house fire was the result of Arson. 

Law enforcement officials with the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, along with the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner, identified the cousins that died in the May 15th fire in Guthrie Center.  They were identified as 16 year old Shakiah Cockerham and 12 year old Melanie “Paige” Exline, both of Guthrie Center.  The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner conducted the autopsies of Shakiah Cockerham and Melanie Exline and ruled both deaths a homicide.

Patrick Ryan Thompson Booking Photo
         Patrick Ryan Thompson
                Booking Photo

Complaint and Affidavit #1 - Murder in the First Degree

Complaint and Affidavit #2 - Murder in the First Degree

Complaint and Affidavit #3 - Attempted Murder

Complaint and Affidavit #4 - Attempted Murder

Complaint and Affidavit #5 - Arson First Degree

 

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 

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