Oklahoma investigators seek tips about arsonists who set wildfires in Luther, Cleveland County

Fire investigators need help from the public to find whoever set recent wildfires, including one that killed a Cleveland County woman.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: August 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm •  Published: August 18, 2012

Myers said investigating wildfires is difficult because there often isn't much physical evidence to trace and because finding suspects without a witness is virtually impossible.

JoAnne Sellars, spokeswoman for the state fire marshal, said tracking arsonists is hard because the usual standard suspect information investigators would get from a victim or surveillance video or other primary sources isn't available.

“They do it under the cloud of secrecy,” Sellars said. “It's not like you go in front of somebody and hold a gun in their face and say ‘give me your money.' The help from the public and eyewitnesses is paramount to a successful investigation.”

Zoldoske died Aug. 4 when a wildfire destroyed her home on Bridge Creek Drive near 144th Avenue SE and Cedar Lane. Sellars said that fire was one of several that started on Cemetery Road and burned about 100 homes in Cleveland County. Investigators determined they were caused by an arsonist.

Sellars said the fire marshal's “best agent” is looking into the Cleveland County fires, but there is nothing new to report about a possible suspect.

Myers said Oklahoma County investigators also haven't found a good suspect in the Luther case.

“The only way we are going to solve this crime is if somebody knows something and comes forward and lets us know,” Myers said.


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