Waupaca County issued a nationwide warrant for the arrest of a man suspected of starting Wednesday’s fire near New London.
Fernando A. Castillo, 21, is charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, arson of a building, arson of two vehicles and felony criminal damage to property.
Although he is a former New London resident, Castillo’s last known address was in St. Paul, Minn.
Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, a 911 call reported that two vehicles were on fire.
Capt. Don Conat, who is with both the New London Fire Department and the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, and Deputy Pete Bosquez were the first to arrive at the home of Don and Karyl Hebel on Worm Road in the town of Lebanon.
The officers found two vehicles on fire in the driveway. The flames from one of the vehicles had spread to the garage.
Conat also reported seeing a message spray-painted on the all four of the garage doors.
On one door, the message read, “We know don’t play stupid We will fiend you.”
The other message included three names: Michael, Osciris and Lucas.
Two of the doors were burned so badly that the messages were indecipherable.
Waupaca County Detective Sgt. John Mocadlo and Special Agent Brian Liethen with the state Division of Criminal Investigation spoke with a 19-year-old woman who said she had ended a three-year relationship with Castillo.
According to the criminal complaint, she said the names were people she knew and Lucas was a close friend who planned to visit her on Aug. 4.
She also told the officers that Castillo commonly misspelled the word “find” as “fiend.”
When the woman’s cell phone was examined, multiple messages from Castillo were found where he spelled “find” as “fiend,” the complaint says.
The ex-girlfriend called and texted Castillo regarding the fire. He denied starting the fire and said he was in St. Paul.
New London police reported that Castillo called their office at 6:24 p.m. Wednesday and said his ex-girlfriend would accuse him of committing a crime there. He told dispatch that he was in St. Paul and had witnesses, according to police.
Detective Julie Thobaben and Deputy Cameron Durrant spoke with Castillo’s brother. He reportedly said Castillo had been in New London from July 29 until Monday, Aug. 1, when he returned to Minnesota.
The criminal complaint notes that the brother “changed his story a couple of times,” then admitted that he communicated with Castillo on Wednesday, Aug. 3.
Officers reported finding a message on the brother’s Facebook in Spanish that they translated, “Call me it’s urgent.” The message was sent at 5:29 p.m. Wednesday.
The brother said he called Castillo at 7:25 p.m. Wednesday. Castillo allegedly told him to tell police that he left for St. Paul on Monday. He also told the brother no to answer any of the ex-girlfriend’s calls or texts.
The brother also admitted to that he saw Castillo on the morning of Aug. 3.
The vehicles, the garage and its contents were destroyed by the fire.
“Due to extreme weather conditions of high humidity and high temperatures, fighting the fire was particularly challenging,” the complaint says. “Two firefighters were treated at the scene.”