Bureau increases reward to $10,000 for information in suspected FIJI arson case
Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 01:09
Although there have been no arrests since the May 25 arson at the FIJI house, the office of the Ohio State Fire Marshal has confirmed rumors that the reward for any information pertaining to the case has been raised to $10,000 from the previous reward of $5,000.
“We initially offered $5,000 through our Blue Ribbon arson committee,” Mike Duchesne, public information officer at the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said. “Recently, the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has thrown in $5,000 more to bring [the reward] up to $10,000.”
According to Duchesne, when it was first discovered that the FIJI fire was arson, the investigation was troublesome due to the fact most students were away for summer break. Now that students are returning to campus, the ATF and Office of the Fire Marshal are hoping to generate more interest with the increased reward.
“The investigation is currently ongoing, although we aren’t a part of it,” Oxford Fire Chief John Detherage said. “Now that the fire is done, it is the job of the police and fire marshal to take care of the situation.”
According to Detherage, since arson suspicions were confirmed in July, nobody has come forward with any useful information regarding the case. However, Michael Duchesne maintains that they have useful information pertaining to the case, although the State Fire Marshal’s office is unable to currently elaborate.
“Because the investigation is ongoing, we are obviously unable to discuss certain details at this time,” Duchesne said. ”However, we are sure of the fact that this is a case of arson.”
In the meantime, Miami University students such as junior Jak Groedel find the additional reward money to be an interesting incentive.
“If they didn’t get anybody to come forward with five thousand dollars, I’m sure someone would be willing to come forward for ten.” Groedel said. “That’s a whole lot of money for a college student.”
While students like Jak are optimistic about the heightened reward, others such as senior Brenton Richardson are less optimistic.
“If someone knew something, I don’t think they would have held out for more reward money. They probably just would have come forward,” Richardson said. “I suppose the investigation isn’t going well.”
Despite such sentiments, Duchesne is confident that the reward will rouse excitement among the student body.
“Hopefully, by making the crime fresher in peoples’ minds, someone will come forward and talk. That’s what we hope to accomplish by raising the reward,” Duchesne said.
Anyone with information pertaining to the ongoing FIJI fire investigation is urged to contact the Ohio State Fire Marshall Office at 800-589-2728, or the Oxford Police Department at 513-524-5268.