Law enforcement authorities in Ohio are hoping a $5,000 cash reward will lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for starting a barn fire that killed eight horses in Morgan County on April 24.
Ohio State Fire Marshall's Office Public Information Officer Shane Cartmill said the barn's owner called 911 immediately after discovering the blaze. Eight horses including one foal were located in the barn in McConnelsville at the time of the fire, Cartmill said. The structure was destroyed. All eight animals were killed.
Based on physical evidence at the scene and messages painted on the barn, investigators have ruled the fire arson, Cartmill said.
"We're not commenting on the messages," he said. "But they were derogatory and pointed messages."
If caught, those responsible for the fire could face arson and possibly other related criminal charges, Cartmill said.
Both the State Fire Marshall and the Morgan County Sheriff's Department are investigating the incident. A cash reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case, Cartmill said.
"No tip should be considered too small or insignificant," he said. "We believe someone has more information about this fire."
Anyone with information about the incident should call the State Fire Marshall at 800/589-2728 or the Morgan County Sheriff's Office at 740/962-4044.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.