Arrest made in Catfish House arson -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in Catfish House arson

March 4, 2003

Adel - Cook County Sheriff's deputies arrested 50-year-old Peggy Parr and 20-year-old Jennifer Barnes, both of Valdosta, for setting fire to the Catfish House restaurant.

"They're both charged with first degree arson and could serve from two to 20 years," said Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

Parr and Barnes apparently left the restaurant a little after 10:00 on the night of the fire. Less than 30 minutes later, the Catfish House burned to the ground.

"Our investigators worked the scene very thoroughly and collected samples from throughout the building," said Oxendine. "Those samples recently came back from the G.B.I. lab and had traces of gasoline in them."

Records show the restaurant was having financial problems, and Parr had taken out a million dollar insurance policy on the building.

"We're not sure if its the definite motive, but from the beginning we've believed their financial status might have played a role," said Oxendine.

Parr and Barnes were being held in the Cook County Jail, but both bonded out on $10,000 last night.

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