Omaha couple arrested for 2010 arson fire in Atlantic


October 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Wednesday, that a couple from Omaha, NE, were arrested this week in connection with a December 14, 2010 arson fire in Atlantic. 29-year old Elizabeth Kautter and 27-year old William Kautter, were both charged with Arson in the 1st Degree, a Class-B felony. William Kautter was also charged with six counts of Attempt to Commit Murder, which is also a Class-B felony.

Officials say at around 8:50-p.m. December 14th, firefighters were called to a fire at a single-family home located at 601 East 6th Street in Atlantic. Upon arrival, firefighters observed a fire had ignited on the porch and quickly spread into the home’s main entrance. The homeowners, Myron and Jolynne Gill, along with one of their adult children and three juveniles, were in the home at the time, but all escaped without injury.

An investigation conducted by the Atlantic Police Department, Atlantic Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, indicated the blaze was caused by gasoline being poured across the front door and porch before being ignited. Complaints and Affidavits filed in coordination with the arrest of William and Elizabeth Kautter said prior to the fire, William Kautter had made several harassing phone calls, threatened physical harm and death to the Gill family.

In addition, cell phone records showed the Kautter’s had traveled to Iowa from Omaha the night of the fire, and, Elizabeth Kautter was seen purchasing gasoline at an Atlantic area gas station on December 14th, 2010. William Kautter was arrested and charged in May 2012, for making terroristic threats. In August 2012, he plead guilty to a lesser charge.