A Wolcott man is "intentionally missing" because police said he's wanted by Waterbury police for cases of arson.
Scott Basile, 23, has been missing since early January, according to his family.
Police said they believed as of Friday that Scott Basile was "intentionally missing."
"We're hoping he's just on the run because of what occurred in Waterbury and he doesn't want to be found," Wolcott police Chief Edward Stephens said at an 11:30 a.m. news conference at the Wolcott Police Department.
His case will remain a "missing person" case.
"His parents are very concerned as any parent would be about their son "He had been acting strangely the days leading up to this," Stephens said.
Waterbury police received complaints about arsons on Hill Street in that city.
Scott Basile was set a number of fires to Fratelli's Pizza and Catering on Hill Street late last year. In fact, police said officers on surveillance spotted him on Christmas, gave chase and lost him. But, officers recovered evidence at the scene which they traced back through DNA.
"They included a 20 pound propane tank, 3/4 full. The regulator had been manipulated, so it could be turned on and flow," Waterbury Police Deputy Chief Fred Spagnolo said. "There were some Molotov cocktails."
"It happened right before Christmas, so right there I lost a lot of business, had to remodel," Francisco Avendao with Fratelli's Pizza and Catering said. "It was a nightmare and scary."
Police said Scott Basile was upset about an order and that is believed to be the reason for the arsons.
"The order was contaminated with a bolt, might have fallen out of a dough machine," Spagnolo said. "He came back to the restaurant and caused quite a stink."
An arrest warrant was developed for an incident on Christmas Day and traced it back to Scott Basille through DNA. Officers are seeking to charge him with first-degree arson and manufacture of bombs.
"The other six incidents that occurred throughout the month of December remain under investigation and Scott Basile is our primary suspect," Spagnolo said. "There is an active warrant for his arrest. And we hope we find him safe, get him home and resolve this matter."
Jeanne Basile, his mother, said she spoke with police on Thursday. She also talked to Eyewitness News on Friday and said she was shocked to find out about the allegations. Jeanne Basile said she would deal with legal issues once he was located.
Waterbury police told Eyewitness News they last talked to Scott Basile on New Year’s Eve. However, the last time loved ones heard from Scott Basile was on Jan. 2. when he told his mother he was off to run some errands.
His parents said Scott Basile has mental health issues and needs help. After not hearing from him for a few days, they reported him missing.
His girlfriend told police that she was mystified as to how and why Scott Basile was released from hospitals.
Jeanne Basile also said her son had undocumented behavioral changes for months before he went missing.
"He's never not kept in touch with us, no matter what hat's going on," Jeanne Basile said. "He always comes home."
Police said they found a couple of eyewitnesses through DNA, which was recovered from the car her son had been driving.
Police confirmed that they identified two people from Stamford who were in the car and were not Scott Basile. Both admitted that Scott Basile was with them on Jan. 6.
Scott Basile attempted to sell a cell phone to the men and ended up befriending them. They went out partying, police said.
Later that night, he attempted to find a ride to the Bronx. He revealed to the men that he lost his job and was under stress.
He left the 2008 Ford Taurus with the keys near where they were partying. That's how the "friends" got a hold of the vehicle.
"It appear he left it there with the keys, because he didn't want a trace, left his cell phone, didn't want anyone following him," Stephens said.
Police said they got hits on the car all over New York City.
According to those he met in Stamford, Basile told them he had friends in Brooklyn and was heading to New York.
And he was there in early January as this photo taken from a toll both on the Triboro Bridge shows him heading back into the city.
"We don't know if he's still in Brooklyn. He had a month head start," Stephens said. "He could be anywhere really."
Security tape from a Stop & Shop bank in Norwich showed the last time he was seen at all was on Jan. 3. He withdrew $700.
On Jan. 7, the Taurus he'd been driving was found in Stamford. It had crashed into a utility pole. Eyewitnesses said the man who got out of it was not Scott Basile.
Police said the driver of the car nodded off and hit the pole because he was "high."
"It's very suspicious," Stephens said. "We are taking this as if foul play is involved."
For weeks, the Basile family said they've feared the worst. However, they've been holding out hope that Scott Basile will return alive and well.
"I don't want that picture in my head," Jeanne Basile said. "I try to keep a positive picture of me putting my arms around him soon."
Family and friends are not the only ones who want him found.
"I still don't feel right," Avendao said. "Still worry all the time, is something going to happen again."
Anyone with information about Scott Basile's whereabouts is asked to contact Wolcott police at 203-879-1414 or Waterbury police at 203-574-6920.
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