04/03/2013 07:28 EDT | Updated 06/03/2013 05:12 EDT

Lee Wilding Charged In Castlegar Church Arson, Van Torching

CASTLEGAR, B.C. - An 18-year-old Castlegar, B.C., man has been charged in connection with a blaze that destroyed a Catholic church in that southeastern B.C. city.

RCMP say Lee Wilding was arrested on March 28, three days after the late night fire gutted St. Rita's Catholic Church.

Wilding and a 16-year-old girl who can't be named are charged with the church arson and the torching of a van in a nearby church parking lot, less than an hour before the St. Rita's fire.

The girl was released under strict conditions shortly after her arrest, but Wilding remained in custody over the Easter long weekend and appeared in provincial court in Grand Forks on Tuesday.

He returns to court at a later date.

Police have not said what led them to the suspects, but note community co-operation was crucial in advancing the investigation.


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