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Two charged with arson in Appleton vehicle fire

Nov 12, 2020

Appleton — Two people have been  charged with setting fire to a vehicle that had been parked in an Appleton gravel pit following a party last month.

Corey M. Spear, 20, of Warren; and Edward L. Vandyke III, 24, of Rockland were charged Oct. 30 with arson for the fire that occurred Oct. 4 in a gravel pit off Collinstown Road in Appleton.

An affidavit filed in the Knox County court by Kenneth MacMaster, senior investigator for the Maine Fire Marshal's Office details the investigation that led to Spear and Vandyke being charged.

The owner of the 2000 Jeep Cherokee, valued at $1,600, told the investigator he had attend the pit party which was to celebrate someone's 21st birthday. The owner said he was unable to locate his keys when he was ready to leave so he left the vehicle there and got a ride home. When he returned the next day, he found the vehicle had been burned.

The investigation eventually led to witnesses acknowledging that Spear and Vandyke were among a group of five young people who returned to the pit after the party. Spear got into the Jeep and found registration information that identified the owner. Spear then took a baseball bat and smashed out the windows of the Jeep, according to the affidavit. Spear also too a knife and stabbed the tires, according to the affidavit. Spear and Vandyke took stereo equipment out of the vehicle, and Spear then drove around in the pit with the vehicle until they got it stuck. Spear then lit something in the back seat and the fire destroyed the vehicle. Witnesses said Vandyke had little to do with the destruction of the vehicle.

Spear filmed the fire with his camera. One of the witnesses also took photos of the fire with Spear in the pictures. The witness provided those photos to the investigator.

After the initial charge, Spear was issued the additional charge of tampering with a witness on Nov. 11 for violating his bail by contacting one of the witness by sending a threatening message to a witness.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation.

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