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Home » Valentine's Day » Attempted murder, arson charges filed in Seneca County after man attempts to set child on fire: Another victim airlifted with head injuries

Attempted murder, arson charges filed in Seneca County after man attempts to set child on fire: Another victim airlifted with head injuries

Law enforcement officials gathered at the Seneca County Jail on Wednesday to give an update on an intense investigation following an attack on Tuesday involving two young children.

The victims, who were one- and four- years old suffered injuries that required hospitalization.

“This case has been a tough case for the officers involved,” Undersheriff John Cleere said as the press conference began. “There’s been a lot of rumors circulating, a lot of speculation.”

District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz, Sheriff Tim Luce, and Lieutenant Tim Thompson were all present and spoke at the press conference.

Deputies called for multiple fires at Loves Travel Shop, find young child covered in flammable fluid

On May 3, 2022 around 5:33 a.m. deputies responded after multiple 911 calls were made by employees of Loves for the report of several fires inside the building.

The intensity of the fires was not immediately clear- but Lieutenant Thompson described the scene as ‘chaotic’ when asked what deputies found as they arrived.

The two suspects, who later became a central part of the investigation, were detained without further incident.

Luce said that Jamie Avery, 28, of West Palm Beach Florida, who faces an array of serious, felony charges including attempted aggravated murder, was the truck driver involved in the incident. The second person involved was not identified yet, but Sinkiewicz said charges were expected.

The 1-year-old was turned over to North Seneca Ambulance and transported to Geneva General Hospital for treatment.  Luce said that the 1-year-old was soaked in a flammable liquid- and the two suspects attempted to light them on fire. “Luckily, the two were unsuccessful. Circumstances surrounding the four-year-old are still under investigation,” Luce added.

While deputies checked the building, a suspicious device was located in the men’s bathroom. The building was immediately evacuated and the Monroe County Bomb Squad was requested to the scene. Explosive Detection K-9 units from the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

About four hours later, the building was declared safe and the suspicious device was determined to be a makeshift replica and not incendiary in nature.

Another child located, airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital

During that time, a second child was found- a 4-year-old injured and abandoned in the cab of a tractor-trailer. Deputies forced entry into the cab and removed the child.

The 4-year-old was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital from Geneva General with head injuries.

Both of the children are expected to make full recoveries, Luce added. “Very young children are victims in this case. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims in this case,” he continued.

One charged with attempted aggravated murder, arson- held on $100,000 bail

Jamie Avery, 28, of West Palm Beach, Florida was the lone suspect identified at Wednesday’s press conference. The charges Avery faces included attempted aggravated murder, attempted murder, arson, attempted arson, and endangering the welfare of a child.

He was arraigned in the Seneca County Centralized Arraignment Court and remanded to the Seneca County Correctional Facility. Both Avery and the other involved person who was not identified at the press conference could face additional charges, Sinkiewicz said. According to law enforcement, Avery has a connection to the Syracuse-area but was a resident of Florida.

A timeline for charges against the second individual was not clear.

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the initial response by members of the New York State Police, Seneca Falls Police Department, Waterloo Police Department. The Clyde Fire Department also responded to the scene with assistance provided by the Junius Fire Department, Seneca Falls Fire Department, and Waterloo Fire Department. Additionally, the building suffered minimal damage from the event.

Sheriff’s Investigators are working closely with the Seneca County District Attorney’s Office and Seneca county Child Protective Services as this investigation continues.