Published on May 10th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
Arson suspect arrested in connection with Marshall fires
An arrest has been made in connection with the 10 arson fires sparked on the Coconino National Forest near Marshall Lake.
According to information from the U.S. Forest Service, the man was arrested last night near Lake Mary Road not far from the site of the fires.
Charges are still pending with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the man’s name has not been released at this time.
Local law enforcement from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, the Flagstaff Police Department and the Forest Service had been on a massive manhunt south of the city since the fires first started popping up on Friday.
Crews battled several fires near the end of Lake Powell Boulevard on Friday afternoon.
When a string of fires were reported on Forest Service Road 128 on Saturday morning, officials immediately suspected they were the work of an arsonist as well.
When crews arrived on scene at the fires near Marshall Lake, they spotted a Native American male walking away from the area, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
Forest Service law enforcement were hiking along dirt roads throughout the rest of the day trying to find the suspect and the CCSO was driving up and down area roads in hopes of spotting someone who matched the description.
A boot print, consistent with a military “waffle-style” shoe sole, was spotted leaving the area and officials attempted to follow the boot prints.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter was in the air for several hours on both Saturday and Sunday trying to find the suspect, according to DPS officials.
Then on Sunday, a Forest Service officer was near Lake Mary when he spotted a man matching the suspect’s description. The man was eventually arrested.
Details of the arrest have not been made available at this time.
Forest Service officials say that the investigation is ongoing and the suspect has not been linked to other suspicious fires in the Flagstaff area, including the Fisher fire, which burned some 35 acres in the same general area earlier in April.
The investigation will look at whether or not the man worked alone and what involvement he might possibly have had in other recent arson fires.
It’s not clear where the suspect is being held at this time. Officials with the Coconino County Detention Facility say they do not currently have any suspects being held on arson charges.
Source: azdailysun.com “Arson suspect arrested in connection with Marshall fires,” May 10, 2013.