PDT Staff Writer
Investigators from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office said they are seeking Rodney D. Cydrus for questioning regarding several fires and other related crimes — possibly including an arson at Reinhardt’s Sales and Service, in Wheelersburg.
Investigators want to speak with Cydrus about information he may have regarding recent fires and related crimes in Jackson, Ross and Scioto counties in Ohio, Greenup County in Kentucky, and similar incidents throughout the United States.
Cydrus’ last known address was 267 Whitter Drive, in Chillicothe, and is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 126 pounds, with brown hair, green eyes, and tattoos on his arm. He may be traveling with Konetta L. McDowell, who is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 130 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes.
Cydrus was recently spotted at campgrounds in Jackson and Ross counties, and inside Wal-Mart stores in Paris and Maysville, Ky.
Investigators released security camera images from the Maysville, Ky., Wal-Mart on June 3. Upon releasing that image, Shane Cartmill, spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said investigators believed the man seen on tape was traveling between Lexington, Ky., and Ohio, and would have information concerning the fire at Reinhardt’s, in Wheelersburg, on May 28.
Five trucks and 15 men from Porter Township Fire Department responded to the fire at Reinhardt’s. They were assisted by three trucks and 11 men from the Green Township Fire Department; two trucks and seven men from the Vernon Fire Department; one truck and two men from the Portsmouth Fire Department; and the ladder truck and three men from the Rosemount Fire Department.
The fire caused heavy damage to the building and also destroyed several pieces of equipment and truck parts, leaving an estimated loss of $2 million. Following an investigation, Tim Spradlin, chief of the Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, announced June 1 the fire was intentionally set. He also said there appears to have been a burglary involved.
“He (Cydrus) certainly resembles the person in the surveillance video released last week. Based on that and other information, we want to speak with Cydrus about the information he may have about the Wheelersburg fire and other crimes in the surrounding areas,” Spradlin said.
Investigators warn that Cydrus has a history of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery, and may be armed. He should be considered dangerous and should not be approached or apprehended by a citizen.
State Fire Marshal investigators have posted $5,000 Blue Ribbon Arson reward signs at several fires that could be connected. Anyone with information is asked to call the State Fire Marshal’s Fire & Explosion Investigation Bureau at 1-800-589-2728 — or (614) 752-7106 if calling from out of state.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail email@example.com.