Archive for Thursday, June 29, 2006

Information sought in weekend fires

June 29, 2006

A person of interest has been identified, but Johnson County Sheriff's officers are still seeking information on two weekend arson incidents in Oak Country Estates.

Officer Kent Leiker said the incidents occurred late Friday or early Saturday. The homes involved were those of Walt McDaniel, 8635 Lynne, and Greg DeBouch, 8735 Lynne.

The fire at the McDaniel residence was started on a wool mat, which then burned through the wood deck and floor joist. That fire was discovered at about 6 a.m. Saturday..

The fire at the DeBouch residence was on a concrete deck and discovered at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

The fires followed an altercation McDaniel and DeBouch had with three men at the Oak Country Golf Course earlier on Friday. DeBouch owns the golf course and McDaniel is a marshal there. That provided investigators a place to start, Leiker said.

The three men were described as white males in their 30s. Leiker said one of the men had been identified and would be interviewed as "a person of interest."

"I hope to get to the other two through him," Leiker said.

The sheriff's office is making it a priority to solve the case that put people and property in danger, Leiker said.

A media release was prepared for the case, calling for information through the sheriff's office's TIPS hot line at (816) 474-TIPS.

Materials retrieved from the scene have been sent to the Johnson County Crime Lab for testing, Leiker said.

"It could have taken the whole house down, hence the aggravated arson," Leiker said. "It is a person felony. It could be significant jail time."

De Soto Fire Chief Kevin Ritter said the De Soto Fire Department responded to the second fire.

"It could have been very serious and very dangerous," Ritter said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.