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Aiken County woman charged in arson, insurance fraud case

April 18, 2019, Aiken County, SC — An Aiken woman was charged early Thursday morning in connection with a suspicious house fire on Ralph Greene Street in Warrenville in January.

Sylvia Marie Mitchell, 56, of Old Camp Long Road, is charged with second-degree arson and presenting false claim for insurance payment, $10,000 or more, according to jail records.

On Jan. 24, Aiken County Sheriff's Office deputies responded, along with fire crews, to a structure fire at 207 Ralph Greene Street around 6 a.m., according to the report.

Fire crews worked quickly to put out the blaze and checked inside to make sure no one was trapped. There were no reported injuries.

After an inspection of the area, investigators reported no one appeared to have been home when the residence caught fire.

Deputies then met with a witness who lived next door and had called 911; he claimed to see light coming from around the house earlier in the morning, but it wasn't until later that he realized he was seeing flames coming from the house, the report states.

The witness told deputies he ran over to the residence and attempted to put the fire out using buckets of water, police reported.

Investigators reported observing "obvious signs of forced entry" on the front door of the house and four separate fires had been purposefully set around the house.

Following an investigation, police determined Mitchell "knowingly and willfully" set four fires at the Ralph Greene Street residence with the help of a second person during the early morning hours of Jan. 24, according to the arrest warrants.

The warrants also state investigators believe Mitchell conspired with another person to "present a false claim for payment to State Farm Fire and Casualty Company."

Police have not released the identity of the second suspect believed to have conspired with Mitchell to commit arson and insurance fraud. There have also been no other arrests made in connection with this case, records show.

Mitchell was arrested Thursday and taken to the Aiken County detention center.

Source: Aiken Standard

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