By Phyllis K. Smith, 1080 KRLD | CBSDFW.COM

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW) – A man is behind bars today accused of the brutal murder of a mother and child.

thomas olivas 11 28 1982 Man Arrested For Murder After 18 Month Investigation

Thomas Olivas. Photo: Arlington PD

The year-and-a-half old investigation led Arlington police to the arrest of 29 year old Thomas Olivas at a sports bar in Hurst yesterday.

Olivas is accused of the March 20, 2011 fatal stabbing of his ex-girlfriend, Mechelle Danielle Gandy, and setting her baby’s room on fire.

The one year old baby boy, Asher Gandy, died in his crib as a result of the fire. It took firefighters a while to find the baby in his room because the fire charred his remains to the point where they were almost unrecognizable.

Police say 26 year old Gandy was trying to get child support from Olivas, but Olivas denied the baby was his.

Investigators say he told friends he would never be able to afford child support and Olivas was due for a paternity test the day after the fire.

A test eventually proved that Olivas was in fact the boy’s father.

Police spoke to Olivas at his work in Grapevine shortly after the murders and smelled gasoline in his car. He also had fresh scratches on him that appeared to be a sign of a struggle.

Cellphone records show Olivas was in Arlington about a half mile from Gandy’s apartment at the time of the murders.

Arlington police say it took investigators a while to complete their case partly because fire tends to complicate matters.

Olivas is being held on a one million dollar bond pending capital murder charges.

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