LEIPSIC, Del. - The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says a house along West Street in Leipsic was nearly destroyed after someone intentionally set it on fire. It happened on Wednesday before 9 p.m. No one was inside the home at the time, according to investigators.
The Leipsic, Little Creek and Cheswold volunteer fire companies responded to the scene.
It is a house that was once owned by 45-year old Tony Mozick, a man who police say was murdered by his own daughter and her boyfriend back in January. Mozick's body was found in the Leipsic River on Feb. 19.
Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Scott Bullock said the fire was intentionally set. The question many people in the close-knit community are asking is why.
"Why somebody would try to do this, I have no clue whether they want to cover something up or just to do it. There's other things to do if you're bored other than torch houses," said Tony Mozick Jr., Mozick's son.
Mozick Jr. is still reeling from his father's murder. He said this is just one tragedy after another.
Troopers had been searching for Mozick since Jan. 8, when his mother contacted police to file a missing person report. Mozick's mother told troopers that her son went to her house in Leipsic daily where he was given medication due to a disability. The last time Mozick's mother had heard from her son, she said, was the evening of Jan. 5, when she spoke with him over the phone.
While investigating the missing person case, detectives said they found out about an incident that occurred on Dec. 12, when troopers were called to the home for a reported domestic dispute. Police said Mozick was attacked by his daughter, 23-year-old Jennifer L. Barnes of Leipsic, and her boyfriend, 24-year-old Gerard T. Schweiger of Felton.
Following their arrests, Barnes and Schweiger were each issued a no contact order that prohibited them from being at Mozick's home, according to police. Through witness accounts, detectives said they determined that Barnes was allowed back at the home due to her four children that are 5 years of age and younger.
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, state police detectives responded to the home on West Street and conducted a search warrant. Police said the detectives located a large amount of blood near the victim's bedroom and a portion of the carpet in the room had been removed and discarded across the street. Barnes, who was at the house at the time of the search with her four young children, was transported to DSP Troop 3 near Camden for further questioning. The children were turned over to a relative.
Police said that through interviews and evidence located at the scene, detectives determined that on the night of Jan. 5, Barnes invited Schweiger over to the house on West Street. Investigators said that once inside, Schweiger was confronted by Mozick and a fight ensued.
Police said that during the struggle, Schweiger used a small knife and stabbed Mozick multiple times. Barnes and Schweiger then allegedly placed the victim's body in a 55-gallon plastic tote container and moved it out to a garage behind the house where they left it overnight, according to investigators.
Authorities said that on the evening of Sunday Jan. 6, the couple loaded the container into a vehicle and drove to the bridge on Fast Landing Road (SR42) just outside of Leipsic and threw it into the Leipsic River. ÂÂ@
The family laid Mozick Sr. to rest on March 9 in Leipsic.
Neighbors who knew Mozick Sr. say he was a waterman and he was good at what he did.
Those who knew Mozick Sr. also say he also took good care of his grandchildren and played with other kids in the neighborhood.
His family says they're just getting through their loss one day at a time.
"I'm hoping he's someplace warmer and nicer and he's watching over all of us and making sure we get through," said Mozick Jr.
This fire is just one more tragedy the family is trying to cope with.
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