Gaylin Rose and her beautiful little girls, Keyana (11), Keyara (9), Kerrielle (7), and Kionnie (5) lived at 103 East Columbia Street in Flora, Indiana. On November 21, 2016, the Flora Fire Department received a call about a house fire around 4:00 am. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the four girls trapped in the home and Gaylin inside trying to save them. Gaylin Rose did everything she could to save her girls. She had to be pulled from the house and Gaylin was flown to a hospital with serious injuries. She was hospitalized for several days.
Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy Drew Yoder rushed into the house trying to save the girls multiple times. He was pulled out of the home by a Flora Police Officer. Deputy Yoder suffered critical injuries and the officer who rescued him was treated and released.
All four little girls perished in the horrific fire.
Arson investigators initially believed the fire started behind a refrigerator in the kitchen of the home. K-9 units were brought in, and investigators announced that no accelerants were found in the home. Then, in January 2017, authorities publicly announced the fire was intentionally set and multiple points of accelerants were found throughout the house.
On June 23, 2017, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Fire Investigator assigned to the Flora fire case, Dennis Randle, was reassigned and officials released a new ruling later the same day. The investigators amended their results to state accelerants were only found in one room of the house.
On October 26, 2017, the NAACP announced that they were joining the investigation.
“The NAACP is just getting involved but based on information we have, it appears the investigation has been bungled in some kind of way,” announced Barbara Bolling, a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors in a press statement “There are people out there who know and it smells. I know we’re just getting started here, but it smells of a cover-up.”
The Indiana State Police deny any involvement in a "cover-up."
“Even the notion that there would be even the perception of a cover-up in regard to an investigation involving our little girls is not only unsubstantiated but strikes me at the core of who I am and the agency I represent,” Indiana State Police Supt. Doug Carter announced to the media. “I’d give my life to find out who killed those little girls.”
On January 3, 2018, investigators confirmed the results of their findings and concluded the fire was intentionally set and the deaths of Keyana (11), Keyara (9), Kerrielle (7), and Kionnie (5) were homicides.
“It’s so heartbreaking because you guys can say their name and I will just break down,” Gaylin told Fox 59. “It didn’t make sense why it had to happen.”
Gaylin packed up and moved to California after the fire. She needed to get away from Flora, the place that took her four children.
"Some days, I feel robbed as a mother, to be honest with you," Gaylin told WRTV. "My motherhood was robbed from me from taking care of my children so I manage it the best way that I can."
Some people speculate the fire was set in some form of retaliation against the family.
"There was no type of beef, no retaliation against me and my family,” said Rose. “No one disliked us like that. We didn't have no beef. Everyone loved us just as well as we loved them. So once again, I'm lost. To be honest, I feel like it was more racial," Gaylin told WTHR. "Whoever is out there knowing, come out and say anything. Come say something. Those were my babies. Those were my children, the only kids that I have. I just want justice for my children."
There have been no suspects publicly named and no arrests made in the arson deaths of Keyana Davis, 11; Keyara Phillips, 9; Kerrielle McDonald, 7; and Kionnie Welch, 5.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this fire. If you have any information, please call 1-800-382-4628.