SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls couple who came home from a trip to find they had been the target of thieves and their home burned down are trying to recover. John Bucknell and wife had recently retired and were looking forward to enjoying time with their first grandchild. But a thief ruined that dream, at least temporarily.
Three weeks ago, while they were in Ohio for a family wedding, John Bucknell and his wife got the call anyone would dread. Their house was on fire. When they got home, the news got worse: a thief had taken their valuables, including several vehicles and …
“My motorcycle, I still haven’t got that. I’ve been riding that for 43 years, and it’s been pretty hard, said Bucknell.
Bucknell has been a regular at bike night at the Red Rock Bar and Grill in Brandon. Every Wednesday during the summer is a fundraiser for the Children’s Home Society. On this night, the event is raising money for Bucknell.
“The Bucknells are lifelong friends, John has probably been to nearly every bike night that we’ve had over the nine years we’ve been doing it , he’s probably missed less of them than I have.” said Mitch Runge, Red Rock Bar and Grill owner.
Bucknell never imagined he would be in a situation where one of those Wednesday nights would be for him.
“I came home with a suitcase full of clothes, that’s it. And we lived in that house for 35 years.”
Bucknell says the house has to be torn down. What hurts even more is that the police believe the man responsible is family, Bucknell’s step-nephew.
“He knew we were out of town for his brother’s wedding,” Bucknell said.
Police used neighborhood surveillance video to identify 41-year-old Nathan Eiesland from Harrisburg as the suspect. Despite the loss, Bucknell says some good has come out of burglary and fire.
“All kinds of friends and family have been reaching out. I mean, and all over the country actually, you know, that heard about this. It’s really good to know that people around that lift our spirits.”
Nathan Eiesland remains in jail at this time. He is also accused of holding up a North Kiwanis Avenue Casino at gunpoint.