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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
April 23, 2015

(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Iowa Teen Arrested and Charged in Arson Investigation

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa -- On Thursday, April 16, 2015, Agents with the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) and Missouri Valley Police Department arrested Coty William Cates, 19, of Missouri Valley, and charged him with three (3) counts of Arson in the Second Degree.

These charges stem from three separate fires set to a vacant residence located at 1003 Granite Street, Missouri Valley. The first fire occurred at approximately 1:12 AM on October 4, 2014. The second fire occurred at approximately 3:24 PM, on October 9, 2014. The third fire occurred at approximately 9:57 PM, on October 10, 2014. The combination of the three fires caused extensive damage to the home.

The Missouri Valley Police Department and State Fire Marshal’s Office continue to investigate several other possible arson fires that have occurred in the Missouri Valley area over the past two years.
Anyone with information about the following fires reported in the Missouri Valley area are asked to call the Missouri Valley Police Department at (712) 642-2736, DPS’ State Fire Marshal Division at (712) 308-3977, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 644-2244, or the Arson Hotline at (800) 532-1459.

  • An explosion at a vacant house that occurred east of Missouri Valley at 2279 Hwy 30 on October 27, 2013.
  • Numerous large hay bales set on fire in several locations outside of Missouri Valley on October 31, 2014.
  • A vacant house fire located at 105 West Superior, Missouri Valley on March 7, 2015.

A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction from the Iowa Arson Reward Fund.

Coty Cates is currently being held at the Harrison County Jail.


Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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