CFO Alex Sink photo

Volume 4 Number 11
March 16, 2007


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.