Revenge seen in spike in Robeson County arson cases

By Mike Hixenbaugh

Staff Writer

 

LUMBERTON – The smell of charred upholstery still was fresh in the air when the arson investigator stepped onto the crime scene two days after the mobile home went up in flames.

Lt. Brian Duckworth knew right away this Jan. 1 fire off Indian Drive in Maxton was no accident. The burn pattern that crept up the trailer’s vinyl siding formed an inverted V, a telltale sign the structure had been doused with something flammable.

The blaze obviously had been staged so it appeared as if the air-conditioning unit caught fire, but electricity to the mobile home had been cut off for weeks. Duckworth kneeled at the base of the trailer and pulled a handful of black soot to his nose.

“Lighter fluid,” he said. Continue reading “Revenge seen in spike in Robeson County arson cases”

In Robeson County, revenge comes with the strike of a match

Originally published Jan. 20, 2011.

By Mike Hixenbaugh
Fayetteville Observer

LUMBERTON – The smell of charred upholstery still was fresh in the air when the arson investigator stepped onto the crime scene two days after the mobile home went up in flames.

Lt. Brian Duckworth knew right away this Jan. 1 fire off Indian Drive in Maxton was no accident. The burn pattern that crept up the trailer’s vinyl siding formed an inverted V, a telltale sign the structure had been doused with something flammable.

The blaze obviously had been staged so it appeared as if the air-conditioning unit caught fire, but electricity to the mobile home had been cut off for weeks. Duckworth knelt at the base of the trailer and pulled a handful of black soot to his nose.

“Lighter fluid,” he said.

Continue reading “In Robeson County, revenge comes with the strike of a match”

Robeson County is one of most violent in state

Story Photo
By Mike Hixenbaugh
Staff writer

LUMBERTON — Tough doesn’t always cut it here. Not in this sprawling county, where the murder rate is four times the national average and young people are twice as likely as teens in other parts of the state to die before they’re old enough to vote.

These are the grim facts of life in Robeson County, and this husky 17-year-old boy knows it, he says, even if he’s never heard the official government statistics. His friends call him Jim Bob, and he’d deck any fool dumb enough to  call him James.

He’s just one of thousands of teenagers who call Robeson County home, but his experiences growing up in one of the nation’s most violent rural communities are experiences shared by many of his peers. Continue reading “Robeson County is one of most violent in state”