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Police: Fire that killed 2 was arson after homicide

Police in Gaston County say a Monday morning house fire that led to the discovery of two deceased people is now considered a homicide and arson case. They say a “person of interest” is being held in Georgia.

Wednesday, investigators identified the deceased as 38-year-old Bridget McCall Berry and 17-year-old Treyvon “TJ” Berry.

They named 40-year-old Peter James Rivers, who lived at the home with the Berry’s, as a “person of interest” in the case. They say he is being held in Georgia on unrelated charges after being found driving a vehicle that was reported missing from the home after the fire.

Investigators say Bridget Berry and Rivers were in a relationship.

Officials responded to the fire around 5 a.m. Monday at a home on Ridgewood Court at Kem Lane in Mount Holly. Bridget and Treyvon Berry were found dead inside the home. Their bodies were sent to a medical examiner’s office to be identified.

Police said early on that they were treating the fire as “suspicious.”

Officials said at a press conference Wednesday that the victims did not die as a result of the fire, and that they may have died sometime between Thursday and Monday. They did not say how exactly the pair was killed.

Investigators said in a press conference Monday that police were looking for two people who lived at the home, Treyvon Berry, who was later identified as one of the deceased victims, and a 12-year-old girl. A short time later, police said, they had found the young girl.

Officials also said they were looking for a 1995 green Chevrolet Suburban that was reportedly missing from the home. On Tuesday, they say, Rivers was located with the vehicle in Georgia.

Anyone with information is asked to call Gaston County police at 704-866-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.

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