RV Park and Campground Briefs
From The White Mountain Independent, Show Low:
A resident at Elk Horn RV Park was arrested on suspicion of arson after a structure fire March 9.
The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office arrested Robert Adam Terry, 50, after Lakeside Fire was called to the RV park around 4:20 p.m.
Lakeside Fire Assistant Chief Troy Maloney said it was the second fire at the same unit in the span of a couple weeks, so it was immediately suspicious in nature.
Firefighters extinguished the fire and investigators found partially burned cigarettes inside. Further evidence at the scene led to Terry’s arrest. Terry was also believed to be the person who made the emergency call about the fire.
The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office said they have been investigating a series of fires at the RV park this year. The first occurred on Jan. 23, where a mattress inside a trailer was set on fire. The sheriff’s office said they received reports that prior to the fire, Terry had an argument with the trailer’s occupant.
Another fire had occurred on Feb. 26, in the same unit as the March 9 fire. The sheriff’s Oofice reportedly learned the fire started several days after the owner accused Terry of stealing money from her purse. Maloney said the trailer was a complete loss after the Feb. 26 fire and the occupants had moved out, so the trailer was unoccupied when the second fire occurred March 9.
Authorities had been called out to Elk Horn RV Park three times March 9 before the fire occurred. Anonymous calls of a structure fire, according to the sheriff’s office, had been placed during the early morning hours and around 1 p.m. No fires had been found on both calls. The sheriff’s office also received a report of a subject with a gun around 9:30 a.m., but found no subject.
The sheriff’s office reportedly determined that Terry made all three calls March 9. He also reported the fires on Jan. 23 and Feb. 26.
The sheriff’s office said Terry has been convicted of arson in other jurisdictions. The investigation is ongoing.
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Authorities in Death Valley are asking for the public’s help in the puzzling case of a man who vanished a week ago while walking from his campfire to his tent in the middle of a busy campground.
San Francisco resident George Kohler, 67, was last seen about 8 p.m. March 12, when he walked away from the fire after telling members of his bicycle tour group that he was tired.
When Kohler didn’t turn up the next morning, his fellow campers checked his tent. His bicycle and all his camping gear were there, and his bed looked as if it hadn’t been slept in, said Carma Roper, spokeswoman for the Inyo County (Calif.) sheriff’s office, which is heading up the investigation.
“It’s been very unsettling. I don’t know how this happened in a campground,” Roper said.
Kohler was part of a group exploring Death Valley National Park on bicycles. The group had stopped for the night at the Mesquite Spring campground at the northern end of the park, not far from Scotty’s Castle, about 180 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Seven local, state and federal agencies joined the search, which has included rescue dogs on the ground and aircraft from Nellis Air Force Base.
“It’s been a massive multi-agency search,” Roper said. “No stone has been left unturned, and they’re continuing on.”
The Inyo County sheriff’s office is asking anyone who was on the road to Scotty’s Castle and may have seen Kohler or given him a ride to call 760-878-0383.
Roper said Kohler is about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket, navy blue T-shirt and black pants.
Terry Baldino, spokesman for the National Park Service in Death Valley, said that it is unusual anytime someone goes missing in the park, but that it is not difficult to disappear there, even from a campground full of people.
He said that if a person decides to go for a walk in the dark, doesn’t tell anyone where he is going and then becomes incapacitated somewhere out in the desert, searchers might not know where to look and could walk right by a downed man without seeing him.
The weather was mild at the time Kohler went missing, particularly by Death Valley standards: daytime highs in the 70s and overnight lows in the 40s.
Mesquite Spring is a developed campground with restrooms, picnic tables, potable water and a resident camp host.
Roper said about 50 other people were staying there the night Kohler disappeared.
“It’s very puzzling,” she said.
From the Bellingham Herald:
A fifth-wheel trailer was destroyed by fire early today (March 20) at the Arrowhead Campground RV Park near Pasco, Wash., officials said.
Pasco firefighters were called at about 12:30 a.m. to the RV park, and when they arrived the fifth-wheel trailer was fully engulfed in flames, said Capt. Dave Hare.
The man living in the trailer was already out and fire crews were able to keep the flames contained to the single unit, Hare said. There were no injuries, but the trailer was destroyed.