Atwater Woman in Court on Arson Charges 28 Aug 14

A rural Atwater woman made her initial appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court Wednesday on charges accusing her of purposely burning down the liquor store she owned in Lake Lillian.

51-year-old Mary Sue Whitcomb is charged with 2nd Degree Arson and Insurance Fraud.

Investigators say Whitcomb intentionally set fire to the K and M Liquor Store last September 23rd because she was deep in debt and could not sell the business. After the fire Whitcomb filed an insurance claim for damages totaling more than $75,000.

Investigators believe the fire started in a bathroom by someone setting paper towels or toilet paper on fire with matches or a lighter.

In court Wednesday, Judge Rodney Hanson set bail at $30,000 with several conditions, and scheduled an omnibus hearing in October.