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Arson Dog Key Part of Recent Murder Investigation

8/29/2003

CONTACT: Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842


PORT ST. LUCIE–The ex-boyfriend of a local woman is in custody today after police charged him with her murder. A State Fire Marshal investigative team provided crucial law enforcement assistance leading to the arrest.

"Buddy," a four year-old yellow Labrador Retriever and his handler, Investigator Greg Gilkey, with the State Fire Marshal's Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, were called to the scene of an alleged homicide on August 20. The dog discovered evidence of possible fire accelerants, and samples were sent to the bureau's analysis lab for confirmation. The St. Lucie County Fire Department assisted in the evidence collection.

This and additional information collected by the Port St. Lucie Police Department led officials to charge Coleman Fred Sule, 49, 2091 SE Talwood Lane, in Port St. Lucie, with the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend, fifty-year old Doreen Elizabeth Domato. Further charges of arson are pending, investigators say. Sule was arrested late last night by the Port St. Lucie Police Department with assistance from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal investigators. Sule was booked into the Palm Beach County jail.

Buddy is trained to give a "passive alert" when he detects a possible accelerant, which means he sits near his target, patiently waiting for his handler to feed him as a reward. Buddy, like the five other dogs around the state trained to assist state arson investigators, received his education through a cooperative program sponsored by State Farm Insurance and the Maine State Police. Carefully selected dogs and their handlers receive a rigorous five-week training session and must be annually certified.

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is the law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal. Anyone with information about any suspicious fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON). Information also may be mailed to Arson Control, P.O. Box 1654, Winter Park, FL 32790.