Homicide Investigation in Deadly Laflin Fire

LAFLIN -- The Luzerne County coroner says two boys killed in a fire are homicide victims.

Family members are still reeling as police continue their investigation.

State police remain outside the house on Oakwood Drive in Laflin.

Two brothers -- Erik Dupree, 16, and Devon Major, 12 -- lost their lives Wednesday night in a fire that investigators say was set on purpose.

The youngest brother 8-year-old Zeke was badly injured.

Preston Bonnett is being held on unrelated charges as a person of interest in this case.

Jeff Woytowich was one of the neighbors who watched all the events unfold.

"The whole street was blocked off and at that point, they were already pulling one of the bodies out. That was the 16 year old," he recalled.

Woytowich tells Newswatch 16 he grew up with the boys' mother Susan Major.

He tells Newswatch 16 the family kept to themselves.

Neighbors were concerned because of the activity that was going around the house over the past few years and nobody could do anything.

Court papers indicate that Susan Major and Preston Bonnett had a history going back at least two years.

Two weeks ago, Bonnett was cited for throwing a beer bottle at Major's house and was ordered to pay Major $200.

Court papers show that earlier this year Major kicked Bonnett of the house on Oakwood drive Because he was allegedly running a credit card scam in her basement.

In 2015, both were arrested by Kingston police for a credit card scam there.

"You knew there was going to be a conclusion somewhere with everything going on but never in our wildest imagination did we think there would be two deaths."

4 comments

  • North Mountain Hunter

    Cut your fingers off so you cant type anymore you phony race-baiting instigator. There is no mention of race in this report or any others. Your just some hate filled pot smoking inept brony white guy living in your grandmother’s basement and the only rush you get out of you miserable life is to pick pick pick at people and their tragedies.

  • North Mountain Hunter

    Y’know, these kids paid the price for their mother’s choices. This is the saddest aspect of this ugly, ugly tragedy. Children DO NOT HAVE AN ADVOCATE, particularly if their parent(s) has other priorities than raising their offspring.

    Rest in peace, precious ones. You didn’t deserve your fates. And, heal quickly, Zeke. MANY people are praying for your recovery.

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