Up To A $5,000 Reward Offered In Kalkaska Arson Investigation

A Lake Michigan shipwreck antique charred.

Kalkaska Department of Public Safety says someone set it on fire this week.

Now they’re looking for who may be responsible.

With the help of the state’s arson prevention committee they’re offering big money to find those responsible.

Megan Woods has details on the heart-wrenching loss for the owner and the up to $5,000 reward being offered to help.

“It’s heart-stopping to pull up to something you own and see flames shooting out of it.”

Robert Murray had big dreams for this now scorched antique ship rudder.

Hoping to someday incorporate it in his home or a nautical themed business.

Murray says, “This was off a sunken ship off of cross village north of Harbor Springs it had sunk in the 1800s. I thought it was just so cool.”

Investigators from both Kalkaska Department of Public Safety and Kalkaska Township Fire got the call around 4 p.m. Monday. After further investigation they believe this was no accident.

Lt. Glenn Artress says, “Based on our investigation we are confident that this is an arson. There’s no other ignition source that could have started the fire so it had to be completed by human cause.”

And because of the value of this rudder, the case qualified for an up to $5,000 reward from Michigan’s Arson Prevention Committee to information that leads to arrest and conviction.

Lt. Artress says, “No matter how small or minute you may think it is the leads or information you provide to us could lead or combined with other information that we receive; it’s kind of like putting together a puzzle.”

Robert Murray says the reward is an overwhelming effort and hopes someone will come forward.

“The police are pursuing the arsonist that set it on fire and hopefully catch them and I don’t know what happens after that but I certainly hope they get reprehended.”

If you have any information contact Kalkaska Department of Public Safety at 231-258-9031.