A New York couple has been charged with murdering their 16-year-old son and accused of setting their home on fire to cover up the crime.
According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, 35-year-old Ernest F. Franklin II and his 33-year-old wife Heather Franklin killed their adopted teenage son, Jeffrey Franklin, earlier this month because they were no longer able to cope with his special needs.
Police believe the couple then set fire to their 1300-square-foot home in the sleepy rural town of Guilford on March 1, 2017, in a bid to cover up their crime. An autopsy has confirmed Jeffrey died before the fire was lit.
Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told PEOPLE earlier this week that the crime has rocked the Guilford community.