New details surface in Newcomb Hotel investigation

Newcomb Hotel fire in Quincy taken by Ross Green

Police began questioning the man charged in the Newcomb Hotel fire five days after the Sept. 6 blaze that destroyed the historic Quincy building, according to new court documents filed in Adams County.

Paperwork filed in a request for an order of protection by Mathew Clark's then girlfriend says that police questioned him as early as Sept. 11 at her Quincy home.

The Quincy Police Department didn't announce the arrest until Sept. 16, 10 days after the fire.

Clark, 24, is charged with burglary and criminal damage to property over $100,000 in the incident that he told police was an accident that took place while he was salvaging the building for scrap metal.

The girlfriend's petition filed on Sept. 17 reveals new details about what happened in the days between the fire and Clark's arrest. The 10-page application accuses Clark of making harassing phone calls.

KHQA is not publishing the name of the girlfriend because we are unable to confirm her age.

"I fear for my safety and the safety of my family from Mathew and his family," she wrote.

Sept. 11 police visited her home to interview Clark.

"Mathew began talking about the investigation to me, which I had no involvement in," she wrote.

Clark checked himself into Blessing Behavioral Center Sept. 14 for a psychological evaluation, according to the girlfriend's petition.

"While in the hospital (he) called me numerous times," she wrote. "He asked about my whereabouts and who I was with."

The girlfriend said that Clark left Blessing Sept. 15 and called her several times trying to find her.

"Mathew proceeded to contact all my friends and family," she wrote. "Mathew also drove to my friends' houses to look for me."

Police arrested Clark Sept. 16 at her home. She said Clark's mother and father tried to contact her at work. Gina Clark, Mathew's mother, tells KHQA they were trying to reach the girlfriend out of concern for her well being.

"I went home and found my dog missing and the letter Mathew wrote me," the girlfriend said. "I called police about my dog to press charges and get my dog back."

The dog was eventually recovered. Clark's mother told KHQA that she took the dog overnight out of concern for the dog because she hadn't heard from her son's girlfriend.

Lt. Dina Dreyer of the Quincy Police Department said that the girlfriend was interviewed during the course of the investigation.

"I'm not sure that there was much developed from her," she said.

The girlfriend's family forwarded all questions to Quincy attorney Thomas Leeper.

Leeper said he couldn't speak too much about the allegations levied against Clark by his client. He added that she fully cooperated with police in the Newcomb investigation.

Clark is currently being held at the Adams County Jail on $200,000 bond. A status conference in the criminal case is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. A hearing on the order of protection request is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. the same day.