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Family threatened for turning in accused arson suspect
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKRC) -- Middletown police are stepping up patrols in the neighborhood where a mother and her two children were burned out of their homes earlier this month.
The additional police presence is in response to recent threats against other families that their homes will be burned down too.
It's not just police that are taking the threats seriously, residents in the neighborhood are too.
The Chitwood home was burned down on May 13. It was ruled arson and right now, a 17-year-old boy is being held in the juvenile detention center while a judge decides if he'll face the charges in the adult court.
On Hill Avenue, just one street over from the now burned and abandoned home, Rachel Marshall says her daughter was told their home will be burned down next. That's because Marshall says her daughter and other teens in the neighborhood told police who set the fire at the Chitwood home on Roosevelt Avenue.
"I had about five minutes to sit and think about it, and the bike cops came by. I flagged them down and started telling them what I know, which wasn't much," says Marshall.
Earlier this week, there was a shooting down the street from the Marshall's home. Since then, the patrols have been like clockwork. Up and down each street in the neighborhood.
Marshall says in their neighborhood, when you hear these threats, or even rumors, they have to be taken seriously. In the past, Marshall says she and several neighbors have had their homes and cars vandalized for speaking out and calling the police.
Before making a decision on whether the 17-year-old will be tried as an adult in the arson case, a Butler County Juvenile Court judge will hold a hearing June 19.