SHIPSHEWANA, Ind. (WOWO): Two men are in custody after an early Thursday morning fire that destroyed the Rosewood Fellowship Church in rural La Grange County near Shipshewana.
The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the blaze just before 6-am Thursday by a passer-by. When crews arrived, they found the church fully engulfed. An investigation by the LaGrange County Sheriff, along with the Indiana State Fire Marshal and Federal ATF determined that the blaze was suspicious.
Security camera footage from the church revealed that a black Jeep Commander had been in the parking lot from just before 1-AM until about 2:15 prior to the fire. Further investigation revealed that two men had been arrested for OWI and outstanding warrants before the fire was reported, in a black SUV that matched security footage.
A search of that SUV revealed items believed to have been stolen from the church. 21 year old Andrew Yoder and 23 year old Michael John Wengerd have been charged with (1) count of Arson of a Church and (2) counts of Burglary. The Rosewood Fellowship church sustained totaling damages, with estimates to rebuild the structure and replace its contents at over $ 500,000.00. The investigation is continuing.