Cologne-drenched man accused of arson, cat killing

Ryan Ray Rasmussen is lodged in the Douglas County Jail

Ryan Ray Rassmussen, Oct. 28, 2015 (Douglas County Jail)
Ryan Ray Rassmussen, Oct. 28, 2015 (Douglas County Jail)

WINSTON, Ore. (KOIN) -– A 25-year-old man, accused of starting a fire that killed a cat, returned to the scene of the crime drenched in cologne in an attempt to cover the smell of the accelerant he used to start the fire, according to court records.

Ryan Ray Rasmussen is lodged in the Douglas County Jail. He is facing charges of 1st-degree arson, burglary, aggravated animal abuse and animal abuse.

The fire in the 400 block of Galaxy Drive in Winston was reported just before 2 a..m. October 25. When officers arrived, the front of the house was “consumed” in fire, according to court documents.

About an hour after the fire was reported, Rasmussen showed up at the scene and was “very animated and not making any sense,” according to court documents. Police said he smelled “heavily” of cologne.

As an officer was taking photographs of Rasmussen, a large burn was noticed on Rasmussen’s arm.

A door to the house had been kicked in and investigators saw a 2.5 gallon red gas can sitting on a washing machine, according to court documents.

While Rasmussen was being booked into jail, he told an officer he started the fire. He told a detective he poured gasoline all over the house and then set the fire with a lighter, according to court documents.

Firefighters found one cat dead inside. The other cat supposedly living at the residence with the victim has not been found.

Rasmussen appeared in court earlier this week where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

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