Arson Suspected in Bryan House Fire; Victims Believed to be Father, Daughter

By: KBTX Staff Email
By: KBTX Staff Email
  • Local, State fire investigators suspect arson
  • Noel Devin and her father Thomas Devin are believed to be the two bodies found inside home
  • Dennis Wayne Brown, 34, arrested in connection to Noel's missing SUV
  • Brown's bond set at $150,000

BRYAN - Bryan Police suspect arson is the cause of a house fire. The bodies of a father and daughter were found in the rubble.

According to an arrest statement, Bryan Police believe Noel Devin and her father Thomas Devin were the two bodies found inside a burned home in the 2000 block of Vinewood Drive. Kelley McKethan, Public Information Officer with BPD, said they cannot confirm the identities until they hear back from the medical examiner.

Around 4:30 a.m. Monday, Bryan firefighters were called to the home after 9-1-1 received calls of an explosion and fire. Firefighters say the flames were so intense they had a difficult time putting it out.

Investigators said that Noel was the single occupant at the house. When she couldn't be reached, Noel's mother was called to the scene. She told officers that Noel's 2011 Ford Edge wasn't at the house. Bryan PD put out a notice looking for the car.

Dennis Wayne Brown III, 34 of Madisonville, was arrested Monday evening at the El Camino Motel on Highway 21. Officers found Noel's missing Ford Edge in front of his room. Officers saw a set of keys on a table when Brown came to the door.

Brown told them a black man he knew as "tear drop" left him with the car. He was arrested for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle after police said the motel manager saw him drive the SUV on to the property. He is in the Brazos County Jail under $150,000 bond.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Brown had been released from prison Friday after serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated robbery out of Brazos County.

Monday morning, Bryan Police originally told News 3 that no one was home when the fire started. As of 4:55 a.m., they had the fire contained to the house and under control. As they later combed through the rubble, they found one body in one portion of the home. A later search of the house yielded a second body in a different part of the home. BPD says the bodies were badly burned and that dental records would, most likely, be needed.

Noel Devin was the associate vice president of resource management for the 12th Man Foundation. According to the Association of Former Students, she was a member of the A&M Class of 2004. Her father Thomas was Aggie Class of 1989, according to the Association.

According to county records, Brown had four prior arrests in Brazos County, all from October 1998 to April 1999. The charges included DWI, DUI, evading arrest and finally, aggravated robbery. In April 1999, Brown was arrested for stealing cigarettes from a Bryan convenience store with a knife. On that robbery charge -- a first degree felony -- Brown was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Madison County Sheriff Travis Neely says Brown has no prior record in the county where his address is listed.

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