Authorities claim death of 16 year old not related to fire, two arrested

GUILFORD – Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting reported on Tuesday, March 21, at 4:31 p.m. the arrest of two individuals in connection with the death of 16 year old Jeffrey Franklin on March 1, 2017 on State Route 8 in the Town of Guilford.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ernest F. Franklin II, age 35, and Heather Franklin, age 33, both of 457 State Highway 8 following the investigation of a fire at their residence on March 1, 2017.



It was determined at autopsy that the fire allegedly did not cause Jeffrey’s death, and that he was allegedly deceased prior to the fire. Investigators believe the fire was set to cover up the apparent murder of Jeffrey.

Both defendants are currently charged with murder in the 2nd degree, arson in the 3rd degree, and tampering with physical evidence. The investigation is continuing and further charges may be filed. Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, no further information will be released at this time.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the investigation by the New York State Police, the City of Norwich Police Department, the Chenango County District Attorney’s Office, the Chenango County Bureau of Fire, and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

All crimes described in this press release are allegations, and suspects named are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

More information will appear in the Wednesday, March 22, edition of The Evening Sun.

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© 2017 Snyder Communications/The Evening Sun
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