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DAVID COLE & TIMOTHY FOWLER: Teens burned alive in Michigan home - May 1982

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, May 17, 2019.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member


    Decades after two teens burned to death, officials still hope for information

    More than 30 years ago, two 17-year-old boys were locked inside a bathroom and burned alive in a Lenawee County farmhouse.

    Police ruled David, who lived in the 5118 Pieh Highway residence, and Timothy were herded into the bathroom of the rural farmhouse and locked inside.

    "Gasoline was splashed in front of the bathroom door and set afire," a March 20, 1983 Citizen Patriot article reads. "Ordered into the windowless bathroom by their assailants, the boys soon realized their danger as smoke seeped under the door, the room's only exit. One tried to survive by filling the bathtub with water.

    "His body was found with the fiberglass tub melted around him."

    A five-gallon gasoline can, kept in the barn, was found along with the bodies of the boys in the rubble from the home.


    Officials seek information in 1982 arson cold case

    Crime Stoppers of Lenawee County is asking for help identifying and locating the person or people responsible for a fire that killed two teenagers in Deerfield 34 years ago.

    The fire happened early in the morning on May 10, 1982 at a house on Pieh Highway. Officials say the two-story home was fully engulfed with flames by the time fire crews arrived.

    The bodies of teenagers David Cole and Timothy Fowler were later found in a windowless bathroom inside the home.

    Cole's mother and stepfather owned the home, but both were out of town that day.

    Fire investigators ruled the fire arson and began investigating the deaths as homicides.

    The boys are believed to have been awake when the fire started, but it remains unclear why they sought refuge in the bathroom instead of leaving the house.

    Police believe there are people in the area with knowledge of who started the fire.

    Anyone with information should call 517-266-6161 or 877-276-8477. Tipsters can also text information to 274637 by starting the text with "LENAWEE".

    spike likes this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    In 1982, David Cole, 16, and Timothy Fowler, 17, were best friends who were spending the night together in David’s parents’ farmhouse in Michigan. Around 12 AM, David and Tim were locked inside a windowless bathroom by an unknown assailant where they were burned alive.

    David Cole, 16, and Timothy Fowler, 17, were close friends from Deerfield, a small town in Lenawee County, Michigan. David and Tim were both sophomores in high school, though Tim was a year older because he was held back in grammar school. David and Tim spent a lot of time together and bonded over shared interests, including their love of automobiles. In fact, David and Tim aspired to open their own Auto Body shop together after they graduated high school, and in their free time, worked on a 1968 Mercedes Benz. Their families described their sons as “good kids” who stayed out of trouble.

    On May 9, 1982, David’s mother, Sandra Hall, and stepfather, Matt Hall, were in West Virginia, visiting one of their ill relatives. David invited Tim over to spend the night at his parents’ two story farmhouse just a few miles outside of Deerfield, but both David and Tim’s parents were reluctant to allow him over because of the lack of parental supervision. When David asked his mother if Tim could come over, she told him that she’d prefer that he didn’t, and gave David the choice to go to Tim’s house instead. Tim’s parents were home, and the boys lived less than 2 miles away from each other. Sandra said, “I'd told him I'd just as soon Tim not stay, but if David wanted to stay at Tim's, it was OK just as long he came back to turn on the lights and feed the animals." However, the boys were persistent, and their parents eventually gave in. Tim went to David’s farmhouse where they would be spending the night.


    On Mother’s Day, May 10 at approximately 12:45 AM, firefighters rushed to the farmhouse that had already been wholly engulfed in flames. The bodies of David and Tim were discovered in the windowless bathroom. The boys were still in their street clothes, leading investigators to believe that they were awake when the fire was ignited. There is a discrepancy concerning why the boys were discovered in the bathroom in the media reports. News stations WTOL 11 and Monroe News reported that it remains unclear why David and Tim sought refuge in the bathroom rather than leaving the house, but Michigan Live reported that investigators ruled that the boys were herded into the bathroom and locked inside. Both articles were written in July of 2016. However, Michigan Live quotes a Citizen Patriot article written in 1983 that read, “Ordered into the windowless bathroom by their assailants, the boys soon realized their danger as smoke seeped under the door, the room's only exit.” One of the boys attempted to survive by filling the bathtub with water and submerging himself, but to no avail. The bathtub, which was made from fiberglass, had melted around him.

    Due to the contradictory information in the news reports, it is unclear whether David and Tim were already in the bathroom when the assailant(s) entered the home, or if they were ordered in. However, what investigators do know is that the bathroom “was an addition,” and the door was locked from the outside. Lieutenant Marc Moore of Monroe County said, “They had no way to get out.”

    The 1983 Citizen Patriot article reported that gasoline was poured in front of the door and ignited, but more recent articles claim that the fire was ignited from the kitchen, which was adjacent to the bathroom. A five-gallon gasoline can that was kept in the barn of the farmhouse was found along with the bodies within the rubble from the blaze.

    MORE: https://www.reddit.com/r/Unresolved...982_david_cole_16_and_timothy_fowler_17_were/

    spike likes this.

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