Man Charged with Murder, Rape, Arson in Fatal Fire

By: Mike Waterhouse Email
By: Mike Waterhouse Email

Kentucky State Police have arrested a man from Kenova, West Virginia, in the triple fatal fire in Carter County that killed a woman and her two daughters.

Police say they've arrested Robert Drown Jr. in the case. Investigators made the announcement at an 11:00am news conference.

NEW: State Police say Jennifer Ison and Drown had a short term relationship before he strangled her, raped one of her children, and then set Ison's trailer on fire.

State Police say Jennifer died of strangulation, one of her daughters died of blunt force trauma, and the other died in the fire. Investigators would not specify which daughter died of which.

Drown was already in custody on charges on non-compliance with the sex-offender registry. He's currently in the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.

Drown is charged with:
- 3 counts murder
- 1st degree arson
- 1st degree rape
- 1st degree burglary

Drown is listed with a Chesapeake, Ohio, address on the Ohio sex offender registry website. No specific sex charge is listed, but the site says Drown's victim was an adult female.

Drown was previously listed on the West Virginia sex offender website. That site says he was convicted of 2 counts of 1st degree sexual abuse and served approximately 4 1/2 years in jail.

State Police say about 40 full-time investigators have worked around the clock for the past two weeks to solve this crime.

The fire happened two weeks ago on Canoe Run Road in Hitchins, which is about two-and-a-half miles east of Grayson.

Jennifer Ison, along with her daughters, 3-year-old Marissa and 10-year-old Shannah, died in the fire. Jennifer was a nurse in the delivery room at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

A national arson response team from the ATF went to the scene last week to provide forensic assistance to the investigation team.

WSAZ has crew in Grayson -- and we'll bring you more information from the news conference as soon as we get it.

Stay with for the latest information.

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