Becca Robbins / Colombian
A passing man who allegedly started a fire at the home of the Vancouver mayor on September 12 is now also charged with burglary at her home the night before.
Aidan Michael Murray, 28, appeared Thursday in Clark County Superior Court in a new home burglary lawsuit.
Murray appeared last week on suspicion of first-degree arson, second-degree kiddie mischief and third-degree theft in connection with the fire. He is also accused of second-degree burglary in a separate case. He is being held on $500,000 bail and is due to go to trial on September 29.
Mayor Ann McInerney Ogle and her husband, Terry Ogle, told Vancouver police that they left their home in the Shumway neighborhood on the evening of September 11. and a search of their lockers inside, according to probable cause in an affidavit.
The couple also discovered that one of their three security cameras had been stolen, another had been damaged, and the third had not been plugged in. The internet cable for their Wi-Fi has also been disconnected. Several things were stolen, and someone left excrement in the kitchen sink, according to court records.
Investigators viewed the footage found from the memory cards in the two remaining security cameras. The video shows that 11 minutes after the couple left the house, a man, later identified by police as Murray, approached the house and rang the doorbell. He was then seen standing in the driveway, inspecting the house, according to the affidavit.
Eventually, Murray was seen riding his bike to the back of the house. Police said that after about 25 minutes, the garage door could be seen raising about a foot before closing again, indicating that he was able to get into the house and garage. The officers said they also heard sounds in the video that appeared to be coming from inside the house, the affidavit said.
Then, at 9:37 p.m. on September 12, police and the Vancouver Fire Marshall Office responded to the mayor’s home to conduct an arson investigation.
McEnerny-Ogle said her husband had been on the phone with their son about fixing the Wi-Fi and phone, which stopped working. The mayor said their son suggested Ogle check the cables outside. That’s when he saw a man, later identified by the police as Murray, setting fire to near the garage.
Ogle confronts Murray, who escapes, and Ogle manages to put out the fire. Police said he was not hurt. Officers set up containment and conducted the K-9 course, but Murray’s location was not immediately determined.
Investigators found fire damage in the two-story garage, which contains an apartment, along with a bottle of lighter fluid.
Employees at a nearby Safeway told police that they helped a man who matches the officers’ suspect description find a lighter fluid in the store earlier that night. Court records state that they had no recollection of seeing him pay for it.
The store’s surveillance video shows Murray pretending to leave, but investigators said he never actually paid. The video shows him riding a motorcycle away from the store, in the direction of the mayor’s house, just minutes before the reported arson. The same bike was found at an intersection near the mayor’s house. It also matched those seen in the burglary footage, according to court records.
Murray was arrested September 14 after Vancouver police responded at 12:03 a.m. to El Burrito Mojado, 808 Harney Street, over a report that a man was seen in a surveillance video attempting to burglarize the restaurant. Officers arrived to find that the glass front door was broken and a man, later known as Murray, was inside, according to police and court records.
After officers arrested Murray, they identified him as the same man seen in a Safeway surveillance video and who left the arson at the mayor’s home, according to court records.
At the time, investigators believed the robbery and arson at the mayor’s home might be related, but they have yet to confirm whether Murray is the suspect in both.