Arson and Marshmallows Don’t Mix for Ohio ManInsurance Fraud, s — By Trace America on April 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM
Camping can be a lot of fun. Making camp fires and roasting marshmallows by a lake comes to mind. And for one Ohio father, police say that included slipping off from the family camp site to set their home on fire. It probably seemed like a great alibi at the time. Now he has been charged with aggravated arson and insurance fraud, probably wishing he was back at the lake making s’mores instead.
According to The Times-Reporter and county Sheriff’s Detective Capt. Orvis Campbell, Aaron L. Fender, 37, was arrested on March 30th on the Tuscarawas County grand jury indictments.
Campbell stated, “At this time, there’s no indication that his wife was aware of, or involved in, these events.”
County Prosecutor Ryan Styer explained that the insurance fraud charge against Fender is a third-degree felony –which is the highest level under Ohio law, because it tops the $150,000 threshold. He added that the value of the Fenders’ burned home and its contents were at least $230,000. The aggravated arson charge is a second-degree felony.
Pending a court hearing, Fender is being held in county jail in New Philadelphia.
While the Fender family was camping near New Philadelphia, the fire was reported by a passing motorist to a Dover police officer at 12:23 a.m. Up to 30 firefighters from four departments battled the blaze, putting it out it by about 2 a.m. Some firefighters did remain on scene however for hot spots until 10 a.m.
“We later learned that Fender had left his family at their camping site for some time, and that is when he returned to the residence and set it on fire,” Campbell said.
He also noted that investigators “have a clear idea of the motives for setting the fire, but we are not releasing those details at this time. Several witnesses provided information which led to the eventual charges on Fender.”
Fender was eventually indicted after a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff’s officers and the Ohio State Fire Marshall’s Office. Members of the Dover Fire Department also assisted in the initial investigation.
Investigators determined that the fire started in the garage area, but its exact cause had been ruled undetermined.
This post is authored by Trace America.