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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Truck fire ends in arrest of two HB men

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jeremy Eppes, 33, and Heath Hypes, 31, both of Horseshoe Bend, were arrested for arson, breaking and entering and theft of property on Sept. 23. They were being held, each on $7,500 bond, at Izard County Jail as of Monday, Sept. 28.

Charges stemmed from the suspicious burning of a 1994 Chevy S-10, owned by Michael Kelley. Kelly was arrested on Sept. 8. Eppes and Hypes lived at the residence where the truck was parked, said Lieutenant Carl Boles of the Horseshoe Bend Police Department.

The truck was left at the residence while Kelley remained in Izard County Jail. On Sept. 13, the truck caught on fire.

A call to the Horseshoe Bend Police Department was made from the residence on the morning of Sept. 13. The police and fire department arrived shortly after, Boles said.

Eppes told police that he put the fire out with a fire hose, Boles said.

Eppes told Boles that he woke up to the sound of truck windows shattering and that he ran outside bare footed to put out the fire, cutting his feet in the process. Boles examined Eppes' feet and found no cuts on his feet, Boles said.

Kelley's truck had remained locked up since Kelley was arrested. Keys to the truck were with Kelley's property while he remained in jail, Boles said.

Once Kelley was released from jail, Sept. 19, he went to Boles' residence and asked him to investigate. Kelley had told Boles that there were no remnants of personal electronic items that should have been in his truck at the time of the fire, Boles said.

"I went out there the next and day and talk to them," Boles said. He asked Eppes and Hypes about the burnt items, unaccounted for and they volunteered to show Boles a piles of burnt items resembling those that Kelley had reported missing, Boles said.

When Boles asked Eppes and Hypes why they had removed the items from the truck after the fire, they told him that "the fire chief told them to," Boles said.

"They were there when we got there," said Mike Hilliker, Horseshoe Bend fire chief. "Both of them were outside, but I never had any verbal contact with them," he said.

"The truck was totally burned out inside," Hilliker said. They had used a garden hose to put some of the fire out, but it was obvious that the fire had run the majority of its course before it was extinguished. The truck was a total loss, Hilliker said.

Kelley provided Boles with photos and serial numbers of the missing items. The size and shape of the sound system pictured did not match the shape and size of the sound system found in the pile of burnt items that Eppes and Hypes had showed Boles, Boles said.

Boles was able to recover a DVD player, three video games from Hardin's Pawn in Salem. Hypes signature was found at the pawnshop, agreeing to the exchange of the goods for $35, Boles said.

Some local residents told Boles that Hypes had bragged about burning the truck, earlier in the week. Hypes admitted to selling the items. Eppes admitted to being with him, Boles said.

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