SOUTH CENTRAL BFAI DETECTIVES RECOGNIZED FOR INVESTIGATION
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd formally
recognized members of the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI)
South Central Region investigative team for their investigative work on
a recent homicide that led to the arrests of three suspects.
“Our arson detectives are recognized
among the best in the nation and I thank them for their commitment and
dedication to protecting the citizens of Florida,” said Florida Chief
Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as State Fire Marshal.
Members of the team are Captain Mark Sauls, Lieutenant Brandon Ball, BFAI’s
case agent Detective Mike Douglas and Detective Eric Saccasyn and canine Xena
(not shown). Sheriff Judd
formally recognized the members of the investigative team and awarded
each a Sheriff's Commendation for their efforts in the case.
In early January, Polk County
sheriff’s deputies requested the BFAI’s assistance at a motor vehicle
fire in Babson Park in rural Polk County where the remains of a
17-year-old female were discovered in the trunk. The BFAI’s regional
accelerant detection canine team determined the fire had been set.
The following day, team members further
examined the vehicle and the remains at the medical examiners office,
and the medical examiner concluded the manner of death to be homicide.
The vehicle was extensively examined, sifted and preserved for future
use if necessary.
A few days later, BFAI’s South Central
detectives were asked to assist with the interviews of three suspects.
Confessions were obtained from two of the three suspects and the three
suspects were arrested for a variety of charges including first-degree
murder, robbery, and arson. The three suspects were later indicted by a
grand jury on the same charges.