Investigators pursue arson fire as possible hate crime

CLAYTON, NC (WBTV) - Investigators in Johnston County say it's possible a gay couple was targeted for a hate crime.

The Sheriff's Office says the couple's home had been broken into days before a fire was intentionally set. The couple was away for the weekend at the time of the fire. They are now staying at a local hotel.

Investigators are looking for a white Chevrolet S-10 Crew Cab pickup truck, which could be hauling a stolen push lawnmower and a John Deere riding lawnmower.

Neighbors told reporters the couple was being harassed. Many of them were afraid to speak publicly about the crime.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Johnston County Sheriff's Office at: 919-989-5010

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