State Arson Detectives Arrest Zellwood Arsonist
CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Ruthven
ORLANDO—Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today announced that three men have been charged in a series of fires in the Zellwood neighborhood that began in the summer. No one was injured, but all of the fires involved residential dwellings.
Joel Reed, 21, and twin brothers Christopher R. Headdy and Michael R. Headdy, 22, are charged with arson of a dwelling, conspiracy to commit arson and burglary of a dwelling. Reedy was arrested on Tuesday and was booked into the Orange County Jail. The Headdy brothers are still being sought. If convicted, they each face up to fifteen years behind bars. The arrests are the result of an investigation by the Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigation, one of two law enforcement agencies Sink oversees.
“Arson is a serious crime that puts innocent citizens and rescue personnel at great risk,” said CFO Sink. “I commend the detectives who have been working this case diligently and the citizen who provided critical information that helped crack the case.”
During the investigation, Detective Michael Vitta received an anonymous tip that a resident of the neighborhood was involved with the fires. DetectiveVitta identified this neighbor as Reed; when questioned, Reed allegedly implicated himself and the Headdy brothers.
To date, five of the Zellwood arsons have been linked, and three have allegedly been linked to the Reed and the Headdy brothers. The three fires they are accused of occurred on June 16, 2008, at 5106 Mc Donald Street; August 13, 2008, at 2803 Round Lake Road, and on November 11, 2008, at 5111 Mc Donald Street in Zellwood.
The investigation into the remaining two fires in Zellwood continues. These fires occurred on December 1, 2008, and involved two unoccupied dwellings. Anyone with information about the Zellwood fires or the location of Christopher and Michael Headdy are asked to contact Detective Michael Vitta at the State Fire Marshal’s Office, 407-893-3664 or1-877-NOARSON (1-877-662-7766). Information can be provided anonymously.
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is the law enforcement branch of the Division of the State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.