GUILFORD, N.Y. — Authorities have charged a New York couple with killing their teenage son and setting their rural upstate home on fire to cover up the crime.
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office says 35-year-old Ernest Franklin II and 33-year-old Heather Franklin were arraigned Wednesday and charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. Not-guilty pleas were entered on their behalf.
The couple is being held without bail.
Officials say a fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. March 1 at the family’s home, 55 miles (88 kilometers) southeast of Syracuse. The couple’s son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, was found dead inside.
Sheriff Ernest Cutting says an autopsy determined the fire didn’t cause the teen’s death and he was dead before the fire started.
Police haven’t said how the boy was killed.
According to People, before she was arrested, Heather Franklin posted to Facebook a “list of needs, and, or wants” for people to donate to help them after the fire. She also started a GoFundMe page, but it has since been taken down.
“I am still feeling lost without JR to take care of,” she wrote.