A home invasion with an unusual message is the latest in an odd series of events involving a business that went up in flames. On Sunday, Mike McKernan watched as his dry cleaning business exploded and caught fire. He was out front trimming bushes when it happened.
The day after the explosion he reported a break-in and vandalism to a storage unit in Valley. Then early Thursday morning, there was a reported home invasion at McKernan's home, just down the road from the storage unit. Investigators said McKernan was zip-tied to a pole in a shed behind his home.
When the 911 call came in, the caller simply said there was a male party, who was possibly choking. Then the line went dead. Investigators said McKernan later told them armed intruders were threatening him while tying him up.
Sources told 6 News that the apparent intruders escaped by boat. The Douglas County Sheriff is helping the Valley Police Department look into the case while the fire marshal continues to examine the explosion at Wardrobe Spa. The departments are working in tandem to try and connect any dots between the three incidents.
6 News has learned of at least one similarity in the cases. A message, written in marker, was left behind at the storage facility and lake shed. It read, "Spa no mas. Rebild no optshun." The state fire marshal has ruled the explosion as arson, but no one has been charged yet.
McKernan's attorney, Jim Schaefer, said, "We're helping coordinate the investigation with the fire marshal and with the insurance company." He went on to say his client has agreed to give an official statement to the fire marshal some time next week.