Following 2-year investigation, Spokane arson suspect arraigned


SPOKANE, Wash. -Spokane County firefighters and the Department of Natural Resources reports Tuesday that an arson investigation going back to 2016 has ended with the arraignment of a suspect in connection to fires in the Little Spokane and Rutter Parkway area.

DNR is the lead agency on wildland arson investigation and has worked with Spokane County Fire District 9 fire investigators on large wildfires in the area since 2016. Similarities among several fires led investigators to believe a single suspect was at working in the area, lighting fires in wildland areas. A DNR fire investigator was first to identify a suspect, and a task force approach was followed to continue work on the case.

Spokane County Sheriff's Office also provided help on the case, along with Washington State Parks, surrounding fire districts and fire investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. At one point about a dozen investigators from state, local and federal agencies were meeting weekly to further the arson investigation.

"Fire investigation is methodical work that tries to capture and analyze evidence from a scene that has been destroyed by fire. While the work is slow, it is important that the citizens understand it was never dropped and has resulted in a completed fire investigation package being delivered to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office for action," Spokane County Fire District 9 Assistant Chief Doug Bleeker said in a release Tuesday.

The suspect is scheduled to appear in court in April.

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