Thursday, April 26, 2007

3 Additional Persons Of Interests Interviewed By Police In Church Arson Investigation

Smithfield Police have now interviewed three persons of interest in connection with a fire intentionally set Sunday morning that destroyed the Whitley Memorial United Methodist Church on Wilson ’s Mills Road . Lead Detective Dale Wood told WMPM News on Wednesday it was too early to determine if any additional persons would face charges. Seventeen-year-old Alvin Lee Parrish was arrested minutes after the fire was first discovered. He is charged with breaking into the church, but he has not been charged with setting the fire. The SBI and ATF are assisting in the investigation. Detective Wood said Parrish was at a residence behind the church while the fire was being fought. While walking behind the church, a paramedic spotted a cut on Parrish’s hand and began treating the wound. When Parrish learned police were on the way to the fire, he ran but was chased down by responding officers. Detective Wood believes Parrish broke into Dunn’s Convenient Mart and stole three cases of beer. In the process, he cut his hand on a glass door. Afterwards, police believe he broke into the church. Although investigators


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