The Kansas Attorney General has filed criminal charges against 35-year-old Brett Seacat in the death of his wife, 34-year-old Vashti Seacat.
Vashti Seacat died when her home caught fire April 30. Her husband and their two young sons made it out safely.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation helped in the investigation and late Friday afternoon the Attorney General's office filed the following charges:
- Murder in the First Degree
- Aggravated Arson
- Aggravated Endangering a Child (2 counts)
Seacat was arrested around five o'clock Friday afternoon. He is in custody in the Kingman County Jail.
The family released the following statement Friday night: "We are very sorry about this whole thing. No matter what happens, it's sad all the way around."
Vashti Seacat served divorce papers to her husband two days before the fire. Brett Seacat and the couple's two boys survived the fire.The K.B.I. spent several days sifting through the remains of the family home. A vigil was held in the shadow of the home days after the fire.
Brett Seacat sent the following statement to Eyewitness News on May 4:
"Vashti was and is an angel. I have known her for nearly twenty years and like almost everyone else that has knew her, I have loved her from the moment I met her. Sadly, she lived her life always wondering if people liked her, all the while people around her thought the world of her. Though our marriage was ending, I will always treasure our time together. The only thing she did better at than friendship was motherhood. She was the picture of love and dedication to the two little boys who are every bit as perfect as her.
I am not able to make sense of what happened and I never will. She just never had any idea what she meant to everyone she knew. Everyone loved her. Her family loved her. Her boys loved her. I loved her. I'm sorry I can't put more into words."
When Eyewitness News arrived to Kingman Friday night, word had already spread of Secat's arrest. "I'm not surprised an arrest was made, everyone in town figured the arrest that was made is what would happen," said Kingman resident Monte Weldon. While it's not a shock to many in Kingman, it's still upsetting to learn Seacat is charged with killing his wife and setting their home on fire April 30th. "What bothers me the most is I talked to and seen both of them on Thursday," Weldon said.
He lives two doors down and spent time with both Brett and Vashti. He says that's what makes this especially tough. "The one thing I have to keep telling myself over and over again is that everybody is innocent until proven guilty. I'm going to stand by that. I know Brett, I like Brett and called him my friend," he said.
He and other neighbors are also worried about their two young sons. Seacat also faces charges for endangering them because they were home during the fire. "I feel awful for the boys, that's what I really worry about," said neighbor Burel Nicks Jr.
But he and Weldon say at least Vashti's family finally has some idea of what authorities think happened. "They've been waiting and wondering," Weldon said. But they'll never understand why this had to happen.