Corey Jermaine Rivera-Allen, 18 of Marianna, and a 16-year-old Juvenile were taken into custody by officers of the Marianna Police Department with assistance from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Investigators made contact with the 16-year-old and determined that he had been on the scene. Further investigation led them to Rivera-Allen who was taken into custody at the Cottondale Village Apartments in Marianna.
The two are accused of setting the fire that devastated the historic Daffin Mercantile building adjacent to the CSX Railroad in Marianna. Officers believe that they entered the structure intending to burglarize it and then set the fire to cover their tracks.
Marianna Police Chief Hayes Baggett said that both fled the scene but are now in custody facing charges of Felony 2nd Degree Arson and Felony Burglary.
Baggett also said that officers are continuing to investigate the fire and asks that anyone with information please contact the Marianna Police Department at (850) 526-3125 or CrimeStoppers at 850-526-5000.
He thanked the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigation, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Marianna Fire, Jackson Fire Rescue and other agencies for their assistance.
The oldest part of the building destroyed by the fire was built in circa 1905 and Daffin Mercantile – later Daffin Food Service – had been a landmark Marianna business for more than 100 years.
Daffin Mercantile was founded in the 1800s by Robert Dale Daffin and was a family business tradition in the Daffin and Milton families of Marianna. Hundreds of Jackson County residents worked there through the years.