Two-Month Investigation Leads To Suspects In Luther Wildfire

Tuesday, October 16th 2012, 11:27 am
By: Dana Hertneky

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday it had identified suspects in the Luther wildfire, and submitted the case to the State Attorney General's Office.

Someone intentionally set the fires in Luther on August 3, leading to wildfires that burned nearly 2,700 acres, and damaged or destroyed 50 homes and buildings.

"I don't understand how somebody could do that, so many people lost their homes and so many people almost lost their homes, someone could have died so easily," said Heidi Weaver, the fire went right through her back yard.

"It was just 'swoosh.' It was like an inferno." Leeman Moore told News 9 back in August. Moore and his son called 9-1-1 after seeing someone throwing trash out of a pickup truck.

That call launched the two month arson investigation, during which time investigators said they'd received more than 50 tips.

"Our investigators from day one never quit," said Sheriff John Whetsel.

Now Sheriff Whetsel says they have identified suspects but have decided to turn the case over to the grand jury where those called to testify are under oath.

"One of the things that has frustrated us has been the inability to have people talk to us truthfully, so that is why we have opted to go to the grand jury," said the Sheriff.

The sheriff says he hopes through that process they will get the answers they need to punish those responsible.

Heidi and her neighbors believe whoever did this should be put away for a long time, for everyone's sake.

"They should probably keep them locked up," said Weaver.

The sheriff says their office received more than 50 tops from the public. Those tips increased after a reward was offered. That reward has climbed to $12,000.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is not releasing the names of the suspects yet. They are still asking anyone with information about the case to call (405) 259-OCSO (6276).

8/6/2012 Related Story: Luther Family Loses Their Home To Wildfire

8/6/2012 Related Story: Police Release 911 Call In Suspected Arson Case In Luther

8/4/2012 Related Story: Governor Fallin: Luther Grass Fire Damage Is 'Heartbreaking'