suspects

Drew County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man and woman suspected of setting fire to an apartment in Drew County.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Patrick Pippen and Michelle Spears for arson and aggravated assault.

The fire was set early Wednesday morning around 4:30 a.m. outside a duplex apartment building between two apartments, according to Lt. Tim Nichols, criminal investigator with the Drew County Sheriff’s Office.

“Gas was poured from the front door of apartment 2 and around the side to the back door,” Nichols said.

Shortly after fire occurred, Nichols said he and a deputy interviewed the occupant in the apartment who told them she’d had a conflict with Pippen and Spears earlier that evening.

Nichols said he went to Pippen’s workplace where Pippen denied the allegations and allowed Nichols to look inside his car.

“I smelled the odor of gas in the suspect’s vehicle,” Nichols said.

Pippen left work after speaking with Nichols and did not return, according to Nichols.

Meanwhile, Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober located a gasoline can down the road from the duplex.

Nichols said he then obtained video images showing the suspects purchasing a gasoline can at Walmart between 2:20 a.m. and 2:26 a.m. and another video showing the suspects filling a gasoline can at the EZ Mart convenience store with $3 worth of gas at 2:35 a.m.

Another video image shows a car resembling the Pippen and Spears vehicle pulling into the driveway of the duplex sometime after 2:35 a.m., according to Nichols.

Pippen and Spears are believed to be traveling in a White Pontiac G6 with a bullet hole in the front driver’s side door. The car has an Arkansas license plate with the number 776RLJ.

Anyone with information about Pippen and Spears whereabouts is asked to contact the Drew County Sheriff’s Office at (870) 367-6211.