Media Release: W.Va. Fire Marshals investigate burglary and arson arising from theft of deceased war hero’s belongings

3/14/2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2019
W.Va. Fire Marshals investigate burglary and arson arising from theft of deceased war hero’s belongings
 
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office announces charges against three people in connection with a burglary and fire at a residence in Salem.
 
Okey Floyd Jones, 42, is charged with first-degree arson and burglary, Jesse Jeremiah Gray, 29, and Tony Lee Wanstreet, 25, of Salem are charged with burglary. All three are Salem residents.
 
Investigators believe the three entered a residence on Gain Street in Salem on Jan. 23, 2019 with the intent to steal. A family friend stopped at the residence and advised a male subject that she was going to call the police.
 
The house later caught fire. Several witnesses said Jones had become nervous police would find fingerprints, and he confessed to investigators that he returned to the residence. The home was severely damaged in the fire.
 
During the burglary, all three took part in stealing a wooden hope chest from the residence that contained the owner’s deceased brother’s Purple Heart, Silver Star and American flag, which have not been recovered. 

Gray was arrested on March 8. Jones was arrested on March 12. Both were arraigned in Harrison County Magistrate Court and remain in North Central Regional Jail. The arrest of Wanstreet is pending.  
 
These charges result from a combined effort by WVSFMO investigator R.C. Ayersman and Salem Police Chief Eric Flevaris.
 
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