Updated 07/10/2012 08:03 PM
Police search for answers in arson investigation
It was a crime that shocked the community. An Ithaca police officer's house was set on fire while he slept inside. Two years later, no arrests have been made. Our Tamara Lindstrom has the latest on the investigation.
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TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. -- In the early morning hours of July 10, 2010, Ithaca Police Sergeant Bryan Bangs found himself the victim of a crime.
"Sergeant Bangs was awoken by a fire alarm in the house and the house was engulfed at that time," said Captain James Barnes of the New York State Police.
Bangs escaped the fire through a second story window with the help of a neighbor. He suffered minor injuries, but the house was a total loss. Investigators quickly ruled the fire an act of arson and began the search for a suspect.
"The New York State Police continue to investigate the intentional arson on July 10th, 2010 to the Bangs residence at 60 Etna Road in the Town of Dryden," Barnes said. "Several hundred leads have been pursued during the investigation and the case remains open."
Two years later, the crime remains unsolved. Police won't say if they have any suspects or a motive.
"Our ultimate goal is to make a criminal prosecution. So in doing so we have to be very careful in how we proceed," Barnes said.
The fire was set a week after Bangs was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of 29-year-old Shawn Greenwood. An investigation found Bangs shot and killed Greenwood during an attempted drug bust after the suspect hit another officer with his van and continued to drive toward the downed officer. However, police never publicly linked the two events.
"Obviously it's a very dangerous job and they have to be aware of their surroundings at all times, both on and off duty," Barnes said. "This situation only reinforces that."
Police wouldn't say whether they expect to make any arrests, but that they will continue work on the investigation.
There is a $20,000 reward for information. State Police are asking anyone with information to call them at (607) 347-4463. All calls will be kept confidential.