Around 12:30 a.m. Dec. 20, 2012, Grant County Sheriff’s Deputies and Fire District 7 firefighters answered a call for a fire in an unoccupied home at 19688 County Road A.3-Northwest near Soap Lake. The home suffered extensive damage, and the investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and Grant County Fire Marshal revealed the fire was arson.
The home is owned by Bruce Gibbins, Colleen Gibbins and Laura Kimball. The three are brother and sisters who grew up in the Soap Lake area. The home had been their parents’ residence dating back 60 years. Colleen Gibbins is an Ephrata resident; Bruce Gibbins and Laura Kimball live out of the area.
The investigation revealed a possible correlating incident which happened after the fire. On Christmas morning, unknown suspects dumped a dead part-Chihuahua dog in Colleen Gibbin’s yard on E Street Northeast in Ephrata. It was apparent the dog had been in a freezer prior to being dumped at Colleen Gibbin’s residence. The Sheriff’s Office suspects this act of intimidation is associated with the arson case.
The Sheriff’s Office is interested in finding the owner of the deceased dog with the hope they can provide additional leads to possible suspects. The dead dog was 10-15 lbs. with light tan fur and faint white markings on the front feet. Persons missing a dog matching this description are asked to contact investigators.
Deputy Jon Melvin and Deputy Fire Marshal Nathan Poplawski are investigating these incidents and can be contacted through MACC Dispatch at 509-762-1160. Those with interest in the reward may report through MACC or the Arson Alarm Foundation, 800-55-ARSON.
“I am very concerned about these incidents and hope there is someone who can provide us the break we need to solve this case,” said Sheriff Tom Jones.