- Rick McCrabb Staff Writer
UPDATE, Aug. 29:
The loss to the house was estimated at $5,000, the total value of the property, according to the fire report that was released Monday.
The fire started in the cooking area of the kitchen, according to the report.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Deputy Chief Jeff Spaulding said.
INITIAL REPORT, Aug. 26:
Twice within 24 hours, Middletown firefighters were at a home in the 1500 block of Woodlawn Avenue that police searched last month looking for evidence in the death of a Middletown woman.
Firefighters were dispatched to the home around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, then returned around noon Friday when the fire rekindled in one of the walls, said Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli.
He described Thursday’s fire as “suspicious” because no one lives in the home and the electricity has been shut off. He said arson investigators and Middletown detectives are working together to determine the cause of the fire and to locate any possible suspects.
He expects the cause to be determined by Monday.
Several neighbors on Woodlawn and Baltimore Street said they believe the fire was intentionally set, possibly as a way to burn evidence in the disappearance and death of Lindsay Bogan, 30, a Middletown woman whose skeletal remains were found on a Madison Twp. farm last month.
Her remains were found about 10 months after her boyfriend, Eric Sexton, reported her missing from downtown Middletown.
Numerous Middletown officers and a sheriff’s detective showed up on the afternoon of July 28 with a search warrant in hand at the Woodlawn Avenue house. They removed bags of evidence after pumping raw sewage out of the home to allow the search.
Much of the investigation has centered around Sexton and members of his family. He served a nine-month prison sentence for promoting prostitution involving Bogan.
On Thursday, Sexton was found guilty of a parole violation and sent back to prison, Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw told the Journal-News.
The police chief also confirmed to the Journal-News on Friday that 1504 Woodlawn has been the center of the Bogan homicide investigation.
Scotty Carroll, the son of the renter of 1504 Woodlawn, was arrested Thursday by detectives and charged with obstructing official business, according to Muterspaw.
Police said Carroll “provided numerous false accounts of his involvement during the investigation.”