House fire leads to arrest

July 11, 2014 11:36 AM
 Galesburg Police Department Press Release


On Thursday July 10, 2014, Galesburg Firefighters and Galesburg Police Officers responded to 890 South Kellogg Street on a report of a house fire.  Officers arrived to find heavy smoke coming from 890 South Kellogg Street.  Michelle Esp, of 890 South Kellogg, reported all occupants were out of the house.   Esp told the officers she had just arrived home and noticed smoke coming from inside the residence.  Esp said she entered the home and awakened the two occupants alerting them to the danger and all evacuated the residence. 


Once the fire was out, officers entered the residence to investigate.  Officers found evidence of methamphetamine production on the second floor of the home.  Investigators collected evidence and conducted interviews and as a result of that investigation, have charged Michelle Esp and Richard Garza with Aggravated Meth Production and Possession of Meth Manufacturing Material.  Investigators believe Esp and Garza were in the process of mixing ingredients to make methamphetamine on the second floor of the residence when the fire started. 


Michelle Esp, of 890 South Kellogg Street, was arrested and remains in custody at the Knox County Jail with a bond hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today.  Richard A. Garza Jr., of 814 South Seminary Street, remains at large and may have suffered burns to his arms.  Anyone with information as to the location of Garza is encouraged to report that information to the Galesburg Police Department or the Galesburg Knox County Crime Stoppers (309/344-0044 or 888/266-0044 call, text keyword GALESBURG, with the tip to 274637).



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