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Battle Creek Police, Fire investigate string of arsons including location of 2020 double homicide

203 Post Avenue in Battle Creek - Third Fire
Posted at 4:38 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 17:47:46-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — The site of a double homicide in Battle Creek has caught fire for a third time.

It's one of the locations throughout the city police and fire are investigating a string of arsons.

RELATED: Police, Fire departments team up to investigate rash of arsons

Battle Creek Police Department (BCPD) said Joseph Soule and Jaclyn Lepird were killed by their landlord last October. Since then, it's been damaged by fire three times.

RELATED: Landlord confesses to murder of missing Battle Creek couple

While there are other arsons being investigated throughout the city, the fire chief believes the 203 Post Avenue location is being targeted.

That's the address where Soule and Lepird lived with their landlord 53-year-old Chad Allen Reed before they went missing back in October.

RELATED: Families of missing Battle Creek couple organize search party

Their bodies were later found by police wrapped in plastic in the back of a pickup truck in an abandoned garage. Police said Reed confessed to killing the couple.

On October 18, 2020, the Post Ave. home caught fire, then for a second time on March 20, 2021 and for a third April 7, 2021. Battle Creek Fire Department (BCFD) said all causes are still being investigated.

RELATED: Fire guts house in Battle Creek where couple lived before being killed

Two other locations in Battle Creek are also being investigated for a string of arsons. The BCFD fire chief said they can't make any assumption relating to connectivity of the various arsons.

"They have happened all over the community, at different times in the community. A few of them involved vehicles so as of right now our investigative process has not really dialed into some type of pattern. We are kind of making the assumption that they are random in nature, different people possibly because they have reflected different corners of our community at different times of day and night," said Battle Creek Fire Chief Brian Sturvidant.

The map below pictures the locations around Battle Creek that both fire and police are investigating. They include the home on Post Avenue, along with a home on Oaklawn Avenue that has been set on fire two times.

Investigators said a vehicle parked outside of a home on Hamblin Avenue was targeted on March 21, with that fire also damaging part of a structure on the property.

The fire chief said that since January 2020 they've responded to 11 suspicious fires.

Both Battle Creek fire and police are asking the community to stay vigilant, and if they hear something, they should say something.

The fire department has partnered with Silent Observer to offer an award for tips leading to the arrests or convictions of those involved.