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franklin county times

Police eye suspects in arson cases

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 17, 2001
Meridian Police Department officials say they have narrowed an arson investigation down to several suspects.
Capt. Betty Evans, who heads the department's Criminal Investigations Division and the Arson Task Force, said investigators have worked to identify similarities in the way in which the fires were set.
Since Dec. 1, eight fires at vacant houses in close proximity near downtown Meridian are suspected to have been deliberately set.
Evans said investigators suspect the fires are related.
Fire Chief Bunky Partridge said investigators have been successful in collecting a good amount of evidence.
Evans said investigators continue to interview neighbors, who may have seen something unusual when the fires were set. The last houses believed to have been deliberately set on fire were on Monday at 329 43rd Ave. and on Saturday at 1927 37th Ave.
Evans said the Arson Task Force is comprised of two investigators from the Meridian Police Department, three fire investigators and a handler and accelerant-sniffing dog from the Meridian Fire Department.
Evans urged residents to help investigators by "keeping an eye out" and reporting any suspicious people or cars to police.
Anyone with information can call Evans at 485-1860 or Partridge at 485-1822.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.