Suspect arrested in killing of ex-wife and son in fatal 2016 Byron house fire

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BYRON, Ill. (WTVO) — The Ogle County Sheriff’s Department has announced the arrest of Duane Meyer, 37, for allegedly starting the house fire which killed his ex-wife and son in 2016.

Meyer was arrested in the morning of October 9th, 2019, and charged with 4 counts of First Degree Murder, two counts of Aggravated Arson and Concealment of a Homicidal Death.

Police say Meyer was in possession of a loaded firearm at the time of his arrest.

Meyer pleaded Not Guilty to all charges in court today, and is being held on a $10 million bond.

His next hearing is set for October 16th.

Photo: Ogle County Sheriff’s Department

Margaret Meyer, 31, and her 3-year-old son, Amos, were both killed in the October 19th, 2016, fire at 2020 Silverthorn Lane. Almost immediately, authorities called the fire suspicious. An investigation found that the fire started on the night of the 18th, but was not reported until the following morning.

Fire officials say the mother and boy were likely sleeping when the fire broke out.  Smoke detectors did go off, but the victims weren’t able to make it out.

Margaret’s body was found in the living room, while Amos was rescued from the home by his father, but later died after being flown by medical helicopter to a Rockford hospital.

Margaret’s family plans to host a candlelight vigil in her and Amos’ memory next Saturday, October 19th at 6:30 p.m., outside the Ogle County Courthouse in Oregon.

Candles will be made available for attendees. The family asks that anyone who attends wear green, which they say was Maggie and Amos’ favorite color.

When Maggie and Amos were killed, her friends and family started a foundation in their name. Maggie was a special education teacher in Chana, and the Maggie and Amos Foundation memorializes their lives through donations and scholarships.

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