12-Year-Old Arson Suspect Turns Self In

UPDATED: Monday April 20, 2009 8:56 AM

A 12-year-old boy who was charged in connection with an arson on the city's south side turned himself in to police on Tuesday.

Arson investigators said Ryan Parsley and Kevin Hashman, 15, were responsible for a vacant house fire on Innis Avenue on Jan. 22. Parsley escaped juvenile custody last month, 10TV's Glenn McEntyre reported.

The vacant house fire spread to a nearby house and caused $80,000 in damage.

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Joby Maynard is working to rebuild the home that was damaged by the flames, McEntyre reported.

"You can't move forward when you're fixing all the stuff you've already done," Maynard said. "This was already done. It's very defeating."

Maynard and his family own nine properties on the city's south side. He told 10TV that his family takes pride in investing in an area that needs it and they envision big things for south Columbus.

"To build a community, kind of like German Village 30 years ago," Maynard said.

The rash of fires has caused Maynard to question that vision.

"It makes you wonder why," Maynard said. "I've said so many times to sell them, walk away. Is the reward worth all the risk?"

Police said Parsley was one of three people, including Hasman, who was caught on surveillance video at the time of the fire. The boy's father, William Parsley, was also arrested.

Maynard said he finds little comfort in knowing that both boys are in police custody. He said he doesn't believe it will stop the fires from destroying the neighborhood.

"We have invested a lot in this community and we'd like to see it go in the right direction," Maynard said. "It's kind of hard when it seems like you're always going backward."

Investigators were trying to determine whether Ryan Parsley is responsible for any other arsons in the area.

"We want to determine whether there's any other cases we can clear up, if he's the only one setting these fires," said Columbus fire Battalion Chief David Whiting. "If he's not, then we'll have to continue searching for other people that are setting fires."

Ryan Parsley is being held at a juvenile detention center. His accused accomplice is on house arrest.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage.


Previous Stories:

April 10, 2009: Arson Suspect Escapes Juvenile Custody
April 9, 2009: Investigators Say 2 More Fires Deliberately Set
April 8, 2009:  Vacant Warehouse Fire Considered 'Suspicious'
March 25, 2009: 2 More South Columbus Fires Ruled Arson
March 12, 2009: Authorities Conduct Sweep To Stop South Side Arsons
March 5, 2009: Men In Surveillance Video Sought In Arson Investigation
March 2, 2009: Charges Filed In South Side Arsons
February 23, 2009: 6 Fires Believed To Be Deliberately Set
February 22, 2009:  Cause Still Unknown In South Side Factory Fire
February 21, 2009:  Firefighters Battle Blaze At South Side Factory