ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - State Police announced Tuesday a Parksley couple is responsible for setting a "majority" of the more than 70 arsons on the Eastern Shore since November.
During a news conference, Corinne Geller with Virginia State Police said 40-year-old Tonya Bundick and 38-year-old Charles Smith III (also known as Charles Applegate) were each charged with one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson.
Geller said additional charges will be coming very soon and the two are in jail without bond.
Family friends tell WAVY.com Bundick and Smith were to get married in May. Friends also confirm Bundick is a mother of two.
According to a warrant obtained by WAVY.com, Bundick was arrested just after midnight Tuesday in connection with a fire set in the 19000 block of Airport Drive near Melfa.
Geller said a state trooper and a sheriff's deputy issued a traffic stop, which led to their arrests. Both were taken into custody without incident.
The arrest warrant states the following:
" Surveillance units observed a [van] drop an individual off at Airport Road in Melfa. The individual proceeded to set fire to the residence at [Airport Drive]. A vehicle returned and picked up the individual. The vehicle was stopped and the driver has been identified as Tonya Susan Bundick."
According to the warrant, the passenger identified as Smith, then made a "statement related to the involvement of [Bundick] in additional fires in Accomack County."
Geller said a "handful" of other fires in the county were set by unidentified individuals, not related to Bundick and Smith.
"It's been speculation around here that a fireman must be doing it, you know, but that one last night where they captured her or wherever, seemed to me a little crude for the way the other ones were set," Douglas Scott, a friend of Smith's told WAVY.com.
Smith was not working as a firefighter during the arson outbreak, Geller said.
State Police officers were gathered outside Bundick's home in the 25000 block of Matthews Road Tuesday, where she reportedly lived with Applegate.
"It's been a long four months," Accomack County Sheriff Todd Godwin said. "We've worked hand in hand with the State Police. I think we're finally going to bring this to a closure. We thank you all."
Geller said State Police received more than 1,200 tips related to the case.
Smith and Bundick will be in court Wednesday afternoon for an arraignment.
Check out WAVY.com's special coverage on the Eastern Shore Arson Cases .
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