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Nappanee man arrested in connection to Elkhart County barn arsons

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 8:29 PM EST
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ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - An arrest has been made in connection to a string of barn burnings across Michiana.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office announced in October they were investigating eight barn fires as arson. Some of those date back as far as April.

Now it looks like there’s a break in the case. Joseph Hershberger, 41, of Nappanee has been taken into custody on a preliminary charge of felony arson. But it is unknown at this time if he is charged in connection to all eight of the fires being investigated in Elkhart County... or if he has any ties to the barn burnings across three other Michiana counties.

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While many in the farming community may be breathing a sigh of relief, it’s still unclear why someone would target their barns.

“People are unnerved by it all. The question that they ask is, why would somebody do this?” explains Jeff Burbrink with Purdue Extension of Elkhart County. “People want to see this stopped, it makes the community get on edge and its not something that the agriculture community is used to.”

We’ve requested court documents to learn more about a possible motive for these arsons. The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office is now overseeing the charges.

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