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Arrest made in fatal fire investigation
A 45-year-old Bremerton woman is now in custody for her alleged involvement in the circumstances surrounding last month's death of a Bremerton man in a residential fire that fully engulfed the house.
Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Shelly Margaret Arndt around 9:30 p.m. on Friday at a residence in the 3000 block of Pine Road NE, East Bremerton.
The victim was 37-year-old Darcy Edward Veeder, Jr. who was found deceased inside of a home in the 6600 block of Wellington Lane NE in East Bremerton. Veeder was found during the early morning hours of Feb. 23. He had been sleeping on a couch located in an upstairs living room.
Arndt and Veeder were overnight guests at the house.
"Sheriff’s detectives conducted a month-long investigation into Veeder’s death that incorporated parallel investigations by the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office and the Kitsap County Fire Marshal. Following extensive witness interviews, evidence analysis and examination of the burned-out residence, detectives developed probable cause for Arndt’s arrest," states a KCSO press release.
The two were involved in a long-term domestic relationship.
Veeder was one of eight people (five adults, three minors), who were asleep in the residence when the fire was discovered and reported. All others evacuated the residence, without injury.
The origin of the fire was determined to be in a downstairs family room, according to the press release.
"In a report concerning the investigation, the fire marshal stated (in part) that, “... this fire was incendiary caused knowingly and willfully by human interaction. Adult guests in the home had both access to the downstairs area and methods of ignition,'" states the report.
Following a post mortem examination process, the corner determined that the victim's death was caused by, “Asphyxia, as a consequence of inhalation of toxic combustible materials due to the house fire," states the report.
Arndt was booked into Kitsap County Jail on charges of arson, first degree and murder, second degree. Bail was set initially at $1 million.
She is expected to make an initial appearance at 3 p.m. on Monday in the Kitsap County District Court.