UPDATE (February 5, 2020) - Officials with the State Fire Marshal's Office say that Derek Smith has turned himself in to authorities.
BEAUREGARD PARISH (Feb. 1, 2020)- A Dequincy woman has been arrested for setting her car on fire to collect insurance money while an arrest warrant has been issued for her uncle.
Heaven Royer, 20, was booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail on one count of Arson With Intent to Defraud.
A warrant for the same charge has been issued for Derek Smith, 40, of Sulphur. Smith has made several claims of plans to turn himself in to deputies, but has not followed through. It is believed Smith is currently attempting to evade authorities by fleeing the area.
The Fields Fire Department discovered Royer’s Ford Fiesta burned and abandoned in the evening hours of Thursday, January 30th near the intersection of S. Bearhead Road and Hwy 389 in Singer.
In an interview with State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies, Royer admitted that she called Smith to help her figure out what was wrong with her car, which was out of warranty. After learning repairs would be costly, Royer says she followed Smith to the location the car was later discovered and she witnessed him set it on fire.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Derek Smith are asked to share that information with SFM investigators via our Arson Hotline, 1-844-954-1221, or through our online tip form found at LASFM.org. All tips can be submitted anonymously