A Chenango County couple is accused of murdering their autistic son and setting their house on fire to try to cover it up.

Sheriff Ernest Cutting Junior says 35 year old Ernest Franklin II and 33 year old Heather Franklin are accused of killing 16 year old Jeffrey Franklin on March 1 at their home on State Route 8 in Mount Upton and setting fire to the house.

Firefighters were called to the scene in the Town of Guilford at around 1:15 a.m. and found the house fully engulfed by the fire.

Investigators say the blaze started in the area of the wood stove.

An autopsy has revealed the teen was dead before the fire.

The couple is charged with murder, arson and tampering with evidence. But more charges are possible.

The Sheriff’s office says with the investigation continuing, there will be no further information for now, including a suspected motive.

Chenango County investigators were assisted by the New York State Police, city of Norwich Police, the Chenango County District Attorney’s Office, the Chenango County Bureau of Fire and the New York State office of Fire Prevention and Control.


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