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Second arrest for covered bridge arson

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:45 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:04 a.m. CDT
(Contributed photo by JAKE WADDINGHAM)
Pictured are the charred remains of Cedar Bridge in Winterset after it was set on fire Saturday morning.

WINTERSET – Joel Nathan Davis, 18, of Norwalk was arrested and taken into custody at 2:41 p.m. Wednesday during an investigation into the Cedar Covered Bridge arson that occurred Saturday in Madison County.

Davis was taken into custody without incident and was transported to the Madison County jail where he was charged with arson in the first degree. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Alex Hoff, 17, of West Des Moines was charged with first-degree arson in the case Tuesday.

Both Davis and Hoff face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office believes the teens set the covered bridge on fire early Saturday morning.

Hoff had recently posted a photo of one of Madison County’s covered bridges to his Instagram account with a caption reading “The hardest part of life is knowing which bridges to burn, and which to cross.”

According to the criminal complaint against Hoff, he was caught on security cameras purchasing a gas can hours before the fire. The gas can was later found disposed of near Cedar Bridge.

Court documents also said Davis admitted to spreading gasoline on the bridge before it was lit on fire.

Assisting the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation were agents from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and State Fire Marshall’s Office, Winterset Fire Department, Winterset Police Department, West Des Moines Police Department and Norwalk Police Department. 

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