Church arson suspects speak out

| July 27, 2010

NASHVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – The number of suspects in an arson that destroyed a Brown County church keeps growing.

Another 18-year-old is in now custody. 24-Hour News 8's Rick Dawson talked exclusively with him and another suspect about their involvement in the alleged crime.

18-year-old Dalton Poe remembers the talk among his friends about an overnight road trip into the hills of Brown County

"We're going to go check this church out," recalls Poe. "We may burn it. We may vandalize it."

Poe and Skylar Ping admit they were there with all the others that night as Grandview Apostolic burned, but they didn't want to be a part of it.

"I didn't really want to burn the church down," claims Poe. "I didn't want to have anything to do with it."

But he admits he made the trip anyway.

Ping is the latest suspect in the arson fire. He turned himself in over the weekend and had a court appearance Monday.

"And they said something about burning a church down," says Ping. "And Nate (suspect Nathan Bauermeister) looked at me and said you want to go hang out with them a little bit and I was like it doesn't matter to me, I'll do whatever."

As four suspects were led from a court appearance Friday, they told us the lone arsonist was Aaron Rider.

The 17-year-old now is now in juvenile custody. Poe recalls the conversation he had with Rider that night.

"We're not burning the church down, don't do it, we're not going to do it," insisted Poe. "Aaron proceeds to say, 'I've been talking about it all day, I said I was going to do it. I'm going to do it.'"

"I just hope that one day everyone could forgive me, for not being the bigger person and stopping it before it started. I really hope the Lord can one day forgive me too," says Ping.

The one suspect remaining is a juvenile, a female who may have been the one that turned everyone in.

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Category: Church Security