Police charge teens with Benson camp fireBy Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | September 19,2012BENSON — Police charged two teenagers with allegedly igniting a cluster of fires that destroyed five buildings at Camp E-Wen-Akee last month, but were tight-lipped about any specifics on the investigation.
Vermont State Police Lt. James Cruise said Tuesday he would not release any information on the on going case that resulted in 15-year-old Brandon Yandow of Leicester and 17-year-old Jordan McCoy of Brandon charged with arson in the second degree.
“We will not release more information until the affidavits are made public (at their court date),” Cruise said.
According to police, five different fires were set around 7 p.m. on Aug. 16. They damaged five buildings on the property — one enclosed structure burned to the ground, one was saved and three others were badly damaged. Police estimated the fire caused about $25,000 in damage.
In a press release, police said they were able to identify McCoy and Yandow after troopers at the Castleton State Police Outpost identified a suspect vehicle.
Cruise said the troopers were in the area for another investigation when they spotted a vehicle which led them to the teenagers. He refrained from elaborating further on details of the vehicle or the case.
Camp E-Wen-Akee, a former camp for troubled boys, is located at 878 Root Pond Road in a remote part of Benson. The property is listed as owned by the Eckerd Family Foundation based in Tampa, Fla. The camp, which served about a dozen boys in grades 8-11, has been reportedly closed since February.
Although he did not identify which one, Cruise said one of the teenagers was a former camper at Camp E-Wen-Akee.
Attempts to reach the Eckerd Family Foundation for comment were unsuccessful.
Cruise said the teenagers are charged with one count of arson in the second degree but more charges could be added on. Yandow and McCoy are expected to appear in criminal court in Rutland in late October.
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