Meth Suspect Accused of Torching 3,500-Year-Old Fla. Cypress
A 26-year-old suspected methamphetamine user is facing charges she burned down a 3,500-year-old cypress tree in central Florida, reportedly telling police she needed more light to see the drugs she was doing, the Orlando Sentinel tells us.
Sara Barnes is accused of malicious land burning and possession of meth for the pre-dawn fire Jan. 16 at Big Tree Park that destroyed “The Senator,” reportedly the fifth-oldest cypress in the world. Authorities say that while smoking meth with a friend inside the 118-foot-tall tree, Barnes told them she started a fire so she could see the drugs better.
Police were tipped the day after the fire. Investigators Tuesday confiscated Barnes’ cellphone, laptop computer, methamphetamine, a glass pipe and other drug paraphernalia from her apartment near Winter Park.
State agriculture agents said Barnes took pictures of the fire and downloaded them to her phone and computer, the Sentinel writes. Witnesses told them she showed off the images, saying, “I can’t believe I burned down a tree older then Jesus.”