by: Richard Thompson Updated:
TUMWATER, Wash. - Alden Johnson and Dolores Chiechi were in Hawaii to get married when they got a call informing them that Alden's business had burned to the ground. The couple returned to their home south of Tumwater to find the burned out remains of Alden's taxidermy business. Now they have been told the fire was arson.
"They torched the place," said a heartbroken Johnson. It appears the arsonist cut a hole in the building, stole some items inside and then torched the building, destroying tools and irreplaceable items Johnson was working on for his loyal customers. "It's totally devastating. It's my whole life, my career," said Johnson.
Dolores Chiechi says the arsonist wiped out her fiance's livelyhood. "We would rather they burnt the house down frankly, cause you can buy couches, and you can't replace the stuff that was in the taxidermy building."
The most precious and heartbreaking thing destroyed by the arsonist was the life of the couple's dog Chloe.
Johnson shed tears speaking about his pet of nine years. "She was my best friend. I'm just lost with everything."
The couple suspect the arson could be the work of a man who is currently facing theft charges after failing to pay Alden a $6,000 bill for some taxidermy work. However, the couple will let detectives figure out who did it, right now all they can focus on is how to move forward from here. Alden Johnson says "I'm jobless. I've never been unemployed. I've worked 39 years of my life and now I have no job. I've lost everything."