Polk sheriff’s office makes arrest in Lake Adger fire

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LAKE ADGER -The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested two people last week suspected of setting a fire to a Lake Adger home under construction in December 2016.

Andrew Steven McDowell, 28, of 215 Nelon Lane, Mill Spring and Joshua Terrence

Ruff, 28, of 1536 Owl Hollow Rd., Mill Spring were arrested and charged with breaking, entering and larceny, according to sheriff reports.

Joshua Ruff

Joshua Ruff

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During the early hours of Dec. 27, 2016, a house under construction that was nearly complete caught fire at 1824 Lake Adger Rd. in the Sunny View Community.

The investigation determined that multiple tools and articles were missing from the site, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office obtained a photograph of what was believed to be the vehicle of the suspects at the scene. Capt. Lowell Griffin with the sheriff’s office said investigators used tips from the public to identify and locate the vehicle, which is a pickup truck registered to McDowell, who lives in Sunny View.

“The truck was seized and is currently held by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office,” Griffin said. “On Jan. 5 investigators from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office recovered numerous items stolen from the house in the woods on Owl Hollow Road in Sunny View. The recovery of the truck and the property has led to two arrests at this point.”

McDowell was released from jail on a $25,000 bond and Ruff was released on a $10,000 bond, according to sheriff reports.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation is still ongoing and they expect additional arrests and charges.

Andrew McDowell

Andrew McDowell