CREVE COEUR — A man sought by Creve Coeur police in the wake of a fire last month at his double-wide mobile home in Cedar Ridge Estates has been arrested on methamphetamine charges.
Creve Coeur police Chief Dale King said Ronald E. Watters, 62, formerly of 701 Fischer Rd., Lot 267, turned himself into police and has since been booked into the Tazewell County Jail on charges of possession of meth-making materials and using a residence to manufacture the drug. Both are felonies that could send him to prison for up to seven years if convicted of both counts. Additional charges may be preferred in the future, pending the State Fire Marshal’s investigation, the chief said in a news release Thursday.
It didn't appear Watters had been formally charged by the Tazewell County State's Attorney's office based upon the county's online court records.
On Feb. 26, witnesses told police that Ronald Watters and his wife, Kim Watters, were seen leaving their residence shortly before the fire was reported at about 5:50 a.m. Officers made contact with Kim Watters, who told them Ronald Watters had made it out of mobile home but that she did not know where he had gone.
Half of the mobile home was engulfed in flames when police officers first arrived at the location that morning. They went into the residence to look for occupants but did not find anyone. Firefighters arrived a short time later and repeated a search for occupants, but also did not find anyone inside the burning home. North Pekin, Bartonville, East Peoria, Cincinnati Township and Creve Coeur fire departments worked to extinguish the fire for three hours.
The State Fire Marshal, East Peoria Fire department arson investigators and the Illinois State Police are assisting in the investigation.