Firefighters help find suspect in Great Bend homicide

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A man has been arrested for murder in central Kansas, and firefighters are credited with finding the suspect.

Around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office went to check reports of shots fired in the 300 block of Grove Terrace – west of the Great Bend airport. Deputies and the Kansas Highway Patrol found the body of 34-year-old Charles G. Rousey toward the end of a building. The man had multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office shares in a media release.

Witnesses helped identify the suspect, and information was shared with first responders. That evening, the fire department was returning from an accident and spotted the suspect’s vehicle on south Main Street in Great Bend. Law enforcement were called to the area, and they took the suspect into custody.

Nicholas Pethel, 23, of Great Bend, was arrested and booked on murder charges. He is being held at the Barton County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

The name of the victim is being withheld until next of kin is identified. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting with the homicide investigation.