Authorities are still awaiting the positive identification of the body found at the scene of a suspicious house and outbuilding fire this past Friday on Armstrong Road in the Statesville area.
Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said investigators believe the remains are those of Alan Mooney Sr. who resided at the home. He is the father of Alan Mooney Jr. who is a suspect in the arson.
Mooney Jr. has not been charged in connection with the fire, but Bryan said investigators have been and are continuing to talk with the District Attorney’s Office and the matter will likely go before a grand jury when it meets.
The fire was reported at about 1:30 p.m., Friday. The sheriff said that “unidentifiable human remains” were discovered at the scene, and that “We’re working this as an arson.”
The sheriff said his department’s investigators are working along with the state Bomb and Arson, Middle Tennessee State University Anthropology Department and the State Medical Examiner to identify the human remains.
Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, along with Watertown and Lascassas Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the fire.
Authorities on Friday afternoon began searching for “a person of interest” who they wanted to talk to but who they were unable to locate. However, that person, identified as Alan Mooney Jr., son of the resident of the burned home in Statesville, was located in a vehicle sometime around midnight, or shortly thereafter, and fled on Highway 96 going into Rutherford County.
Bryan said spike strips were deployed on two occasions in Rutherford County, but the person did not stop.
“It was a low-speed pursuit,” Bryan said, since the tires on the vehicle had been punctured by the spike strips.
Officers from WCSD, Murfreesboro Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol were involved in the pursuit.
Bryan said Mooney Jr. struck another vehicle at an intersection in Murfreesboro where he was taken into custody and charged with Reckless Endangerment and Assault on an Officer. He is being held in the Rutherford County Jail under $90,000 bond.
Bryan noted that Mooney Jr. did not live at the residence where the fire occurred and resides instead in Smithville in DeKalb County.
In the meantime, Bryan said, “we’re tying up some loose ends and will meet with the D.A. in the next day or so. We’re moving forward.”
An earlier version of this story was reported online at www.wilsonpost.com on Aug. 30, 2014. In addition, the first story regarding this incident said Mooney Jr. resided in Statesville. The Post has since learned that he is a resident of Smithville which is included here.
Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.