BAXTER COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Sheriff's deputies arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of setting fire to his in-laws' home, destroying it and killing the family's pet.
On Sunday, June 18, firefighters from multiple departments responded to a house fire in the 3200-block of Highway 62 East in Mountain Home.
While firefighters managed to extinguish the flames, the house was a total loss. No one was injured; however, the family's cat died in the blaze.
Baxter County Sheriff's Investigator Brad Hurst determined the fire had been purposely set.
During his investigation, he recovered three forged checks belonging to the homeowners.
Suspecting the son-in-law was responsible for the fire, he brought 21-year-old Mitchel Dylan Teconchuk of Mountain Home in for questioning. It was determined later that many of his statements were false, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.
Investigators interviewed Teconchuk again on Thursday at which time he admitted to the arson and other crimes, the statement said.
According to the sheriff's office, Teconchuk knew the homeowners were out of town and drove to their home and set it on fire. He then drove to his house and picked up his wife—the daughter of the homeowners—before going back to her family's home to make it look like they had discovered the fire. He then had her call 911 to report the fire.
Investigators believe Teconchuk set the fire to cover his having stolen several items from the home, along with other crimes.
Deputies arrested and charged Teconchuk with arson, burglary, filing a false report, three counts of forgery, and three counts of theft of property.
Teconchuk, who has been booked into the Baxter County Jail 12 previous times, is also being held on a probation violation from previous felony convictions.
Since 2014, the sheriff's office reported Teconchuk has been arrested and charged with parole revocation four separate times, felony fleeing, breaking or entering, shoplifting, theft of property, contempt of court, hot checks three separate times, and felony theft of property.
He's currently being held on $150,000 bond awaiting a June 29 appearance in circuit court.
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