HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. – An investigation conducted by the State Fire Marshal’s office has lead to four West Virginia residents, including a recaptured fugitive, being charged in an arson scheme.

According to a release from the office, George and Rebecca Bonnel, Samuel “Joey” Oldaker and Chad Edward Cook are accused of first-degree arson, burning insured property and conspiracy after a December 1, 2011 fire destroyed the residence of the Bonnells in the Laurel Valley area of Harrison County.

It is alleged the Bonnells hired Cook to burn their home so they could collect more than $171,000 in insurance money

The Bonnells and Oldaker were arrested on July 25 and posted bond the same day.

Cook, was a work-release inmate at the Beckley Correctional Center for fraud and forgery.

Investigators with the Fire Marshal’s Office interviewed him on May 22 about the fire. He fled from the facility the following day.

Cook was recaptured on July 20 in Roanoke, Va., when officers stopped him on a bicycle which did not have tail light reflectors.

He remains in jail in Roanoke and is expected to face the recent charges once extradited back to West Virginia.

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  • Jonus Grumby

    No wonder insurance rates in WV are so high.