Joliet home of missing woman leveled in overnight explosion - New York News

Joliet home of missing woman leveled in overnight explosion

Posted: Updated:
JOLIET, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

The Will County Sheriff's Office confirms a house exploded overnight in Joliet, bringing the home of a woman missing for over a month to the ground Sunday night.

The sheriff's office also confirmed the house located at 135 SE Circle Drive to be the residence of Ann Gay, who was last seen on June 9. Police began the investigation of the Joliet Township waitress' disappearance on June 22, when her daughter reported her missing.

Will County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Kaupas said the 52-year-old shared the home with her boyfriend, James Borg. It was completely destroyed by the fiery explosion, which also caused damage to surrounding properties.

Kaupas said authorities believe Borg tampered with the gas line from the dryer. It was cut deliberately, and the valve was left "wide open," he said.

A neighbor pulled Borg from the rubble. Borg is in the hospital with burns over 70 percent of his body. Borg was airlifted to Loyola's Burn Unit, investigators have yet to speak with him.

Borg's dog was found alive, hiding under a dog house outside.

Kaupas said Gay was in process of moving out when she was last seen. He said they're confident her body was not in house, but Gay has not been found.

Kaupas said, after consulting with the state fire marshal, authorities are calling the blaze an arson.

From January through June of this year, deputies were called to the residence 13 times for domestic violence disputes. In the last week, sheriff's police searched Borg's house and truck under a warrant. Borg was the primary suspect in Gay's disappearance.

Borg, accompanied by a lawyer, was also questioned by police about Gay's disappearance last week. Police said he was somewhat cooperative.

A source close to the investigation said cadaver dogs had alerted inside the house. Authorities are waiting on lab results from items taken from the house, which was being rented by the couple.

Kaupas said "evidence of a struggle" was found inside the house. He would not elaborate.

East Joliet Fire Chief Robert Scholtes said it took about an hour and a half to get the fire under control. Numerous other fire departments assisted with "box tenders" to supply water in the unincorporated area.

The explosion smashed some of the wall of Borg's house into the house next door, where four people were inside, Scholtes said. They were able to get out safely.

One East Joliet firefighter was injured loading equipment, but returned to duty after being examined at the hospital, Scholtes said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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