Are Guthrie Center arson deaths linked to sex abuse case? Authorities investigate

  • Source: Des Moines Register
  • Published: 05/18/2017 05:46 PM

VIDEO: Authorities are investigating whether an arson Monday that killed two Guthrie Center girls is linked to sex abuse charges filed last month against a relative accused of molesting one of the girls, a state official said Thursday. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt on Thursday said investigators are “absolutely” reviewing whether a connection exists. “I’m not saying it is, but common sense would tell you that could certainly be a motive,” Mortvedt said. Regardless, 12-year-old Melanie Paige Exline's death in the fire will make prosecuting the felony sex abuse case against her alleged attacker more difficult, Greene County Attorney Nicola Martino said.


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