Tip helps solve 2019 Toms Brook arson case

Citizen who knew suspect and provided information that led to the arrest of
Andrew Tupin of...
Citizen who knew suspect and provided information that led to the arrest of Andrew Tupin of Round Hill, Virginia gets reward offered.(Shenandoah county fire marshal's office)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 2:20 PM EST
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SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - On March 12, 2019 a house fire took place in Toms Brook, but after 2 years and 100 tips, the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s Office (SCFMO) had no suspects.

That all changed when someone came forward over 3 years later.

This week, the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and the SCFMO recognized Maria Salazar for her assistance in helping solve the March 2019 arson that resulted in a $240,000 loss of property and contents in Toms Brook, according to a press release.

Investigator Joe Loving with the SCFMO stated the department spent hundreds of hours working the case, but no suspect had been identified, and while tips still came in, it was far from active. Their break came when the suspect confessed his crime to Ms. Salazar, who came forward the next day. In his confession the suspect provided details of the crime to Ms. Salazar that were only known to Law Enforcement and the person who committed the act.

Investigators say that without the tip, an act of arson that destroyed a family’s home and almost cost their lives would have remained unsolved.