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     After a lengthy investigation, the Sheriff’s Office has charged a juvenile for breaking into and causing extensive vandalism damage to the Old Arkana Church at 10919 Highway 201 South that was reported back in July, 2012.

     When responding to the break-in, deputies found extensive damage to the building and its contents.  Entry was believed to have been made through an unlocked downstairs door.  Tables and chairs had been turned over.  Knives and utensils were on the floor and had been thrown about.  A powdery substance was all over the floor, pews, and other item, as well as in the kitchen and children’s play area, which is believed to have been from discharge from fire extinguishers. Profanity had been spray painted on the walls, and other damage had occurred.  Estimated costs of damaged items and clean-up costs were in the $15,000 to $20,000 range. 

     Evidence was collected at the scene to be analyzed, and several juvenile suspects were developed over the course of the investigation.  Evidence collected included two cigarette butts found inside the church.  DNA samples were taken from the suspects and sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for comparison analysis.  The crime laboratory report indicated that the DNA profile extracted from both cigarette butts were consistent with the DNA profile obtained from one of the juvenile suspects. 

     Based upon these results, Sheriff’s Investigator Brad Lewis was able to charge a 15 year old juvenile with Breaking or Entering and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, both felony offenses.  The juvenile was turned over to Baxter County Juvenile Services for further disposition before the Juvenile Court.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff