Man suspected in deaths of wife, 3 kids arrested

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - August 20, 2011

Newport News police said in a press release that John Moses Ragin, 36, was taken into custody Saturday after he called detectives to say he was in Manning, S.C. Police said they were bringing Ragin back to Virginia after obtaining warrants for four counts of murder. Additional charges were pending, including arson and use of a weapon in the commission of a felony, spokesman Harold Eley told The Associated Press.

Police were called to the family's apartment because of a fire Friday when they found four bodies. Police have identified them as 32-year-old Crystal Ragin and her children, 15-year-old Sierra, 10-year-old Rasheed and 6-year-old Lakwan. Officials say each suffered apparent knife wounds and exposure to the fire, but a medical examiner was to determine how each died. Police did not say when the victims were killed.

During the joint fire and death investigation, police learned the couple's 5-year-old son and John Ragin were missing from the apartment. The child was found unharmed Friday evening with family members in South Carolina.

Neighbors told the Daily Press the family had been in the apartment for only a few months.

Lauren Nelbach said her husband often worked on John Ragin's car and that he would often travel to New York.

"He was trying to be a rapper," Nelbach told the newspaper, adding that the mother was in the military.

Eley said he couldn't confirm whether Crystal Ragin was in the military.

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