Suspects Still Sought in Church Fire
The Washington County fire marshal is trying to track down those responsible for vandalizing and purposely setting fire to a Prairie Grove church last month.
Investigators say they have a few leads but are looking for the public’s help in catching whomever spray-painted satanic symbols at the Illinois Chapel Baptist Church and then set fire to it.
Fire marshal Dennis Ledbetter says they are getting closer to finding the suspects because of the graffiti. He says vandals like to leave their mark and just a couple of weeks ago they hit up another church.
“We had another incident involving a church bus that was vandalized that they spray painted,” Ledbetter said. “The church people wanted to report it, but not make a big deal out of it because they didn’t want them to come back.”
Ledbetter says there are certain areas, like a popular hangout spot under a bridge in the community, where police have added extra patrols.
The congregation and community still mourn the destruction to this place of worship.
“The fire destroyed the oldest part of the church which is irreplaceable, they can’t get it back,” Ledbetter says. “It damaged the old pews and piano, and it meant a lot to these people out here.”
The pastor says they do plan on rebuilding, but it will take some time. The church is still holding services at the education building next door.
If you have any information on this case please call Northwest Arkansas Crime Stoppers at (479) 790-TIPS.