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Arson investigation leads to arrest

Cook County Sheriff Doug Hanks reports the arrest of Michael Eric Knight, 27, of Highway 41, Cecil, on charges stemming from the investigation of a fire responded to by the Cook County Fire Department.

Mugshot of Michael Eric Knight

Michael Eric Knight

On Oct. 24, 2022, at approximately 5 p.m., Cook County Fire Chief Johnny West requested the assistance of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office after responding to a fire in the woods off of Union Road in Cecil, southern Cook County.

West, along with Sheriff’s Office Investigators, recovered evidence at the scene of the fire that pointed to a suspicious nature of its origin. Investigators requested the assistance of the Georgia Forestry Commission Law Enforcement Division to assist in the investigation of the fire.

At the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined that evidence was consistent with the fire being intentionally set. Knight was arrested and charged with one count of Felony Criminal Damage to Property in the Second Degree. He remains incarcerated at the time of this release in the Cook County Jail awaiting bond.

Sheriff Hanks wishes to thank everyone involved in the swift response and investigation into this incident.

Chief West told the Adel News that the Cecil Fire Station was paged out to a fire in the woods on Union Street in Cecil. Fire units arrived on the scene and found that the fire was in the woods and unreachable by fire units.

The Georgia Forestry Commission was notified, and they arrived on the scene with a dozer and contained the fire with a fire break through the area.

Upon further investigation, multiple camp sites were found in the woods, and Georgia Forestry investigators were notified, Chief West said. A complete investigation was conducted by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Forestry Investigators, and an arrest was made in this case.

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