WARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WKRN) — A Kentucky sheriff is thanking Tennessee law enforcement for their assistance in detaining an alleged arsonist now charged with first-degree murder.
On Monday, Feb. 20, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Bowling Green Fire Department, Bowling Green Police Department, and State Fire Marshall investigated a house fire. At the scene, 45-year-old Wendell Leon Reynolds Jr. was found dead inside the home, officials said.
According to Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower, investigators initially spoke with 28-year-old Sean Alexander Birge of Bowling Green, following the fire. Birge had traveled from Kentucky to Clarksville to stay with family.
A few days later, Warren County investigators said they were able to obtain a confession from Birge, which led to him being charged with first-degree murder, arson, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of a corpse.
“As always, these are heartbreaking situations. There’s a lot of different variables that play into these types of situations, but the end of the day, what we want to do is we want to bring some closure to the family, we want to bring some closure to the person that did this horrendous crime,” Hightower told News 2. “A lot of times, letting them come forward and letting us know that, I think it somehow brings some resolve with them, as well.”
Hightower said his department put all the resources possible towards investigating this case, based on evidence found at the scene.
“Each one of these people have mothers, they have fathers, they have grandparents, they have children, they have brothers and sisters,” the sheriff added. “And so, we’re going to work tirelessly on these cases just to bring resolve to them.”
According to Hightower, this was the second case that involved collaboration between the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee law enforcement over the past week.
Previously, Warren County authorities assisted the Metro Nashville Police Department in a deadly overdose case involving a woman accused of dealing drugs out of a Priest Lake area motel.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a reduction in forces, probably across the United States, due to a lot of things that have happened, law enforcement related, that have been negative, and so with that, we’re having to do more work with, at times, fewer people,” Hightower explained. “And so we have to come together and work towards resolving these crimes and partnerships and collaboration for the betterment of families and victims.”
As of Friday, Feb. 24, Birge was being held at the Montgomery County Jail, awaiting extradition to Warren County.