Mysterious fires at ex-mayor’s home, City Hall investigated

A small southeast Missouri town remains under a watchful police presence after fires almost simultaneously burned the home of the former mayor hours after she left office, and the building that houses City Hall and the police department.

Adding to the intrigue in tiny Parma, a racially-mixed town of 700 people, is the fact that Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway was preparing an audit of the city amid reports of questionable financial activity. Many of the records that would have been subject to the audit were destroyed.

The New Madrid County Sheriff’s Department has had officers on extra patrol in Parma since the fires broke out in the early hours of April 17. The City Hall fire was deemed arson and the fire at former Mayor Tyus Byrd’s house is, for now, called suspicious.

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