The camouflage pants that Caleb wore on the day of the incident were found to contain the presence of an accelerant, authorities say, though the D.A.'s office won't confirm whether the accelerant is gasoline or whether it is the same type of gasoline that was found near the fire. The Laceys point out that Caleb works every day with gasoline and other fuel in his tree-trimming business.

In the weeks after the fire, what was left of the Vanegas family moved to Hempstead. The young boys moved in with their father and now divide their time between him and their mother's sister, America Chavez, a teacher's assistant.

The Vanegas clan has attended every one of Caleb Lacey's court hearings. On one occasion, early on, the two families shouted epithets at one another—outside the courtroom, the Vanegases called Caleb a killer. Now, things have calmed down, and America Chavez keeps the her sister's children by her side when the two families cross paths at Caleb's court appearances. "Evil. He is evil," she says of Caleb.

Scene of the crime: The Vanegas home
Sam Lewis
Scene of the crime: The Vanegas home
Accused of deadly arson: Caleb Lacey
Daily News Pix
Accused of deadly arson: Caleb Lacey

Richard and Eleanor Lacey continue running their church. They say that they are convinced of Caleb's innocence, but that only God will dictate what happens next. "This will be the making of him," the reverend says.

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