DeKalb County

Teen arrested in death of locksmith and father of four found inside burning work van

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that a teenager has been arrested and charged in the death of a DeKalb County locksmith.

Peter McGrath, 36, was found dead in his burning work van in DeKalb County earlier this month. DeKalb police found McGrath on Mecklinburg Place in Decatur near Towers High School.

Neighbors told Channel 2′s Matt Johnson that the van had been sitting on their street for several hours before they heard an explosion.

DeKalb County police confirmed Thursday that a 16-year-old has been identified as the suspect in this case and is currently in police custody.


“He did not deserve what happened to him,” his wife Amber McGrath told Johnson. “He was a loving father. He was just an amazing human being.”

McGrath and his wife have been married for four years but have known each other for their entire adult lives.

Their youngest child is just 6 months old. McGrath enjoyed having a large family after he grew up as an only child, his wife says.

“We had big dreams, big plans,” Amber McGrath said. “They were just stolen from us in an instant.”

McGrath was the sole provider for his family. A GoFundMe has been set up to help his family get by.