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Two men charged in Shipshewana church arson

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andrew yoder and michael wengerd graphic
Andrew E. Yoder and Michael John Wengerd

SHIPSHEWANA, Ind. (WPTA21) - Two men are now facing felony charges in connection with a church arson and burglary in Shipshewana Thursday morning.

Just before 6 a.m. Thursday, a passerby called 911 to report a fire at the Rosewood Fellowship Church at 5705 N 900 W.

Police and firefighters first on scene found the building engulfed in flames.

The church was insured, but the loss is expected to be at least $500,000, and will need to be rebuilt.

Investigators quickly determined the fire to be suspicious, and surveillance video at the church pinned down two possible suspects.

A dark SUV had been at the church from 12:53 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. before the fire.

Further investigation revealed two people were arrested in a black Jeep Commander later that morning for OWI and outstanding warrants.

Investigators said property believed to have been stolen from the church was in the Jeep.

After police read them their rights, investigators said the pair admitted to burglary and arson.

Andrew E. Yoder, 21, and Michael John Wengerd, 23, are each charged with arson of a church and two counts of burglary.

The Rosewood Fellowship Church will need to be completely rebuilt, with damage totaling more than $500,000.

Police said the Indiana State Fire Marshal, the ATF, and other local agencies assisted with the investigation.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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