Police Blotter

1. Columbia police track suspected arsonist in Blue Acres fire

The Columbia Police Department is investigating an act of arson that occured early Thursday morning.

The fire started around 4:40 a.m. Sept. 22 inside a mobile home in Blue Acres Trailer Park on Ponderosa Street, according to the news release.

The suspect is a 21-year-old white male named Nathan Dinwiddie. The suspect has no known address and is thought to be homeless, said Detective Tom O’Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. The residents of the mobile home said they knew Dinwiddie prior to the incident.

The fire caused minor damage to the furniture inside the mobile home and there was reportedly a vehicle vandalized as well. The vehicle had four flat tires and the windshield was broken, O’Sullivan said.

At the time of the fire, there were two adult women and three children inside the mobile home. No one was injured in the fire, and the damage to the home was minor, according to a news release.

“The suspect became enraged because one of the women in the home would not get up to find him a phone number at 4 a.m.,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan also said this was an isolated incident and it should not be a cause for concern that arson is an increasing trend.

The police have not been able to detain the suspect at this time.

2. Columbia sees two overnight armed robberies

Two armed robberies occurred Thursday night in Columbia.

The first took place at 9 p.m. at Break Time Convenience Store, 2402 Paris Road. The second was at 9:18 p.m. at Ballenger Liquor, 2201 Ballenger Lane, according to a news release.

During both incidents, a suspect entered the business and pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money. He then fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

No one was injured during the robberies. CPD has not made any arrests and the investigation is still ongoing.

The suspect description is the same for both robberies. The suspect is a 5-foot-10-inch black man with a thin build wearing all black clothing and a bandanna over his face.

3. Skeletal remains found near Easley

Skeletal remains were found Thursday night in southern Boone County.

Two citizens found the remains when walking a dog on River Road near Easley, according to a Boone County Sheriff’s Department news release. They were in a remote, rural area.

Experts determined that the bones were probably part of a commercial product.

The sheriff’s deputies located several bones including a lower jaw on the bank of the Missouri River. The bones were brought to the Sheriff’s Department, where the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office and an anthropologist from MU examined them.

The bones contained fastening hardware consistent with a skeletal anatomical display model, according to the news release.

At this time there is no indication of foul play and no way of determining how the bones were deposited on the riverbank.

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