2018-09-12 / Front Page

Alleged arsonist extradited from South Dakota to face county charges

Charges brought after business fire investigation in August 2017
Comet staff report

Crider Crider Todd J. Crider, 31 of rural Camden, has been extradited from Sioux Falls, S.D. to Carroll County. Crider was extradited on a Carroll Circuit Court arrest warrant and has been charged with one count of arson, a Level Four felony. Crider is originally from Carroll County but was found by Sioux Falls police, when he was arrested for theft from a local business.

Crider’s Carroll County arrest stems from what is believed to be an intentionally set fire at the Lauderdale Plumbing and Heating Company in Flora. The initial investigation began Aug. 18, 2017. Multiple police, fire and ambulance personnel responded after numerous passersby reported seeing smoke and flames coming from the building.

Investigators, led by Carroll County Special Deputy/Fire Investigator Todd Trent, began looking into the origin and cause of the building’s damage after the fire was extinguished. The insured business was not a total loss but suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage. After many months of interviews and follow up, investigators presented formal information to the Prosecutor for review. Prosecutor Nick McLeland agreed with investigators and formal charges were filed on Crider. His bond was set at a $25,000 cash bond and a $50,000 surety bond. Crider informed the Court he intended on retaining his own attorney. The Court scheduled the case for a Jan. 28, 2019 jury trial.

Crider is also being held on a Tippecanoe County warrant, charged with two counts of theft and a charge of being a habitual offender.

“Arson investigations can be some of the most difficult and extensive for investigators to follow up on,” Sheriff Tobe Leazenby stated. “Obviously, unless professional investigators can locate specific items, evidence from a fire can be limited. Many tireless hours were put forth by our investigators in seeking justice for this alleged crime.”

It was noted in the press release from the Sheriff’s Department, this investigation is not associated with the tragic November 2016 house fire in Flora. That investigation is still an active investigation being led by the Indiana State Police.

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