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International Training Conference & Expo

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Case Study - Maternal Filicide - Molly Delgado Double Homicide

Thursday, April 14, 2022 (8:00am –  12:00pm) (Ballroom 5)

 

In 2017, Investigator Harms with the WV State Fire Marshal’s Investigative Division investigated a fire where two children perished. The mother of the children was ultimately convicted and sentenced to two consecutive, life-without-parole sentences.  Fire dynamics, fire patterns, arc mapping and witness statements were all used to obtain this conviction by proving that she set two separate non-communicating fires to the bedding of her two young sons while they slept.

The ATF provided support from the Fire Research Lab and an analyst from their behavioral unit out of Quantico, VA.

Judge Faircloth cited the "heinousness" of the crimes, noting the evidence clearly showed that two separate fires were set.

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George Harms

I have 42 years of experience in the fire service since beginning as a firefighter in the U.S. Air force in 1977. I have been designated as a law enforcement officer and certified fire investigator since graduating the Virginia State Fire Marshal Academy in 1988. I have worked for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Loudoun County Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office. 

Currently I am employed by WV State Fire Marshal’s Office as regional supervisor where I conduct and supervise criminal fire and explosive investigations. I am president of the WV International Association Arson Investigators.

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Chad Campanell

Senior Special Agent-CFI Chad Campanell has worked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for almost 20 years.  He has completed ATF’s rigorous, 2-year Certified Fire Investigator Candidate program and is currently assigned to the ATF Fire Research Laboratory as a Liaison Officer for the National Center for Explosives Training and Research.  SSA-CFI Campanell assists Federal, state, and local fire and police departments with fire origin and cause and post-blast investigations.  He is a member of ATF’s National Response Team which is a cadre of highly skilled and experienced investigators tasked with investigating major fire and explosion incidents throughout the United States.  In addition to being certified as a fire investigator for ATF, he holds CFI and Certified Instructor certifications with the IAAI.  SSA CFI Campanell is a principal member of the NFPA Fire Investigation Unit Technical Committee and has previously sat on the Fire Patterns Sub-Task Group for the NFPA 921 Committee.

Prior to ATF, SSA-CFI Campanell attended the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1999 with Bachelor’s Degrees in Fire Science and Criminal Justice.  Prior to that he was a student at Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey where he graduated with an Associated of Applied Sciences Degree in Fire Science.

SSA-CFI Campanell is a certified Firefighter II.  He has volunteered in fire departments in his home state of New Jersey, Connecticut and in Prince George’s County, Maryland.