LUMMI RESERVATION - A Canadian man is being investigated for arson after an RV belonging to his soon-to-be in-laws was found engulfed in flames on the Lummi Reservation early Sunday morning, Nov. 10, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.
Firefighters and Lummi Nation police officers found the engulfed motor home at about 1 a.m. on North Red River Road near Hillaire Road. Shortly after that, a Canadian couple called police to report that their RV was stolen from the parking lot of the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa.
Ryan Albert Body, 35, was seen on security footage walking to the RV in the casino's parking lot with his future father-in-law, who stayed behind as Body drove away, said Undersheriff Jeff Parks, who called the circumstances suspicious.
Body initially told investigators that he was going to get gas, but when they pointed out that the gas station was in the opposite direction, he claimed that he wanted to go for a drive and had started the fire by accident with a dropped cigarette, Parks said. The fire appeared to be intentionally set, and Body had singe marks on him that were consistent with starting a fire, Parks said.
Body was booked into Whatcom County Jail for investigation of first-degree arson.
The RV, worth an estimated $80,000, was a complete loss. The couple had insurance and still owed $40,000 to $50,000 on the vehicle, Parks said. Investigators are still trying to figure out a motive for the fire.