A Winter Haven mother and her son have been arrested for arson after they set fire to a vacant home on 21st. St., SW in Winter Haven.
On 6-10-13 at approximately 2:18 a.m., Winter Haven Fire units responded to a residential fire at 440 21st St., SW in Winter Haven. At the same time, officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle just one block away. The occupants of the vehicle were mother and son Tamara Wesson (DOB 12-31-70) and John Marshall Nelson (DOB 10-28-93) both of 151 Lake Thomas Dr., Winter Haven. The mother and son had just been seen by independent witnesses walking out of a driveway along 20th St., SW, which had direct access to the back yard of the home that was currently on fire.
Officers continued to interview the pair, but were unable to confirm the reason they were in the area. Through interviews with the neighbors, it was discovered that the pair had previously lived at the residence that was on fire. Officers located a crowbar and some rubber gloves inside of the vehicle that Wesson and Nelson were in, which raised more suspicion. Wesson and Nelson were ultimately arrested for Loitering and Prowling.
Further investigation concluded that the mother of Wesson (grandmother of Nelson), Clara Ann Harms of Winter Haven, owned the vacant home that was on fire, which was currently in foreclosure.
Detectives began a criminal investigation into the fire, ultimately resulting in the arrest of Wesson and Nelson for Second Degree Arson of an Unoccupied Dwelling and Burglary. The pair remain booked in the Polk County Jail without bond.