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Suspect arrested in arson of deputy memorial

The Michael Villiard memorial after the fire. The Michael Villiard memorial after the fire. |  Photo: Sawyer County Sheriff's Office

Updated: June 10, 2020 06:47 PM

Authorities have arrested the man they believe set fire to a memorial to a fallen Sawyer County Sheriff's Deputy.

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Sheriff Doug Mrotek said in a news release that the 38-year-old suspect from Ladysmith is expected to face an arson charge. The charge did not yet appear in online court records as of Wednesday afternoon.

The memorial to Deputy Michael Villiard, who died in the line of duty in 1998, was burned on June 2. It is located in the Village of Couderay.

Mrotek said Ladysmith Police identified the suspect during an investigation of domestic abuse in Rusk County. He was found at a residence in the Town of Bass Lake in Sawyer County.

The suspect also faces charges in the Rusk County case.

Mrotek said there are plans to take down the memorial to restore it to its original condition.

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