investigators seek persons of interest in solving ET church fires
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKEThe Texas Rangers and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives released composite sketches of people they are interested in talking to in
connection with nine torched East Texas churches destroyed since Jan. 1.
People matching their descriptions were seen at one or more fires determined to be caused
Authorities point out that the two young men were also described as having tattoos on the
left side of the neck and left forearm between the wrist and elbow.
These tattoos are described as swirls, possibly indicative of flames as one; and the other
depicting an upside-down cross with swirls or flames sprouting from the top of the figure.
No other descriptions were offered along with the sketches.
Anyone who thinks they recognize these individuals may call the Church Arson Hotline at
(903) 675-0061 or 0062 or 1-888-ATF-Fire.
A reward of $25,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction
of the person or persons responsible for the church fires.
Area church leaders have been briefed on the investigation and what they can do to help
Federal agents, state troopers, county sheriffs departments and local police
officers have stepped up patrols and are determined to capture the person or persons
responsible for these attacks.
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE Cedar Creek Lake experienced power and telephone outages during the
record-breaking snowfall over the Valentines Day weekend.
Many area schools were closed Friday as a precaution, and children enjoyed the rare
condition with snowball fights and snow sculptures.
Trinity Valley Electrical Co-op reported calls for power outages peaked at about 32,000
members, the most TVEC has had to manage in more than 30 years.
Of that number (half the TVEC membership) most were in Kaufman County, including the north
end of Cedar Creek Lake.
All TVEC personnel, as well as crews, contracted to help out in times of high demand,
worked tirelessly to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, TVEC spokesman Jeff
By Monday, only 300 residences remained without power, he added.
TVEC reminds those for whom electricity is a medical necessity to contact the co-op to
update this crucial information on your account.
Most electrical outages were caused by downed tree limbs snapping power lines, along with
Some cell phone receiving towers also went out of service, due to snowfall, which measured
around six inches.
The American Red Cross opened its shelter at Lakeview Assembly of God to take in those
without electricity until power could be restored, but few took advantage of this service.
They also received calls for deliveries of assorted necessities, but the Red Cross
doesnt operate a delivery service.
All in all, it was unusual and inconvenient, but not disastrous, Henderson
County Emergency Management director Joy Kimbrough told The Monitor.
Mobile lab carries 800g of meth
Monitor Staff Reports
CANEY CITYThe Caney City Police Department reports finding 800 grams of liquid
methamphetamine in a car search Feb. 6, resulting in one of the largest confiscations of
meth in Caney City to date.
Two people were arrested on drug charges following the discovery.
Sgt. Robert Siegmund saw a pickup idling at the Caney City boat ramp and then exit the
area. He noted that a rear tail light was defective and initiated a traffic stop.
Bob Allen Stripling Jr., 53, was driving the vehicle. With him was Gina Lynn Scarbrough,
39, both residents of Trinidad.
A background check revealed Striplings license had been suspended on a prior
conviction of invalid license.
Before towing the vehicle, an inventory revealed drug paraphernalia in the floorboard used
in the manufacture of meth. Behind the seat a two-liter bottle contained about 800 grams
of meth in its liquid form.
Henderson County Drug Enforcement Unit officer David Faught responded to the call for
In addition to the invalid drivers license Stripling has an extensive narcotics
arrest and conviction record.
Confidential sources regard him as one of the better methamphetamine cooks in
Henderson County, the press release stated. Stripling was charged with
Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance, a first degree felony.
Scarbrough was found to be in possession of a controlled substance, less than 28 grams, a
Class A misdemeanor.
Later, when she was more thoroughly searched at the Henderson County Jail, more narcotics
were found concealed on her person, the press release stated.
She was charged with two counts of possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional
facility, a third-degree felony.