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Sheriff reports possible break in church arson, burglary investigation
JASPER COUNTY - by Mike Lout/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting Company
Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman said Thursday that investigators with his department had received a break in a case of arson and vandalism that occurred at a church in Buna in late October of 2013.
Newman would not elaborate on the information obtained but said that it might result in an arrest in the case.
Firemen were called to the Northwest Church of Christ, located on Highway 96, shortly after 4:00 on the morning of Monday, October 27 when it was reported that the building was on fire.
Shortly after the blaze was extinguished, firemen discovered that someone had not only set the building on fire, but also turned furnishings, such as the church pews, upside down and also ransacked the building.
Newman said that in all, there were over $200,000.00 in damages to the building and its furnishings.
A longtime member of the church, Clara Miller, said the incident came following the beginning of a gospel meeting or revival that began on Sunday evening that was scheduled to run through the following Wednesday.
The incident was not only investigated by the Jasper County Sheriffs Department, but also the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.