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Missing waitress’ boyfriend charged with arson in house explosion

James J. Borg | Will County Courthouse

James J. Borg | Will County Courthouse

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A missing Will County woman’s boyfriend has been arrested on arson charges of allegedly blowing up their house in July.

As James J. Borg, 44, was walking out of the Rehab Institute of Chicago at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Will County deputies arrested him on three counts of aggravated arson and one count of residential arson, said Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas. Bond has been set at $750,000.

Borg had been in medical care since a July 14 explosion leveled the Joliet Township home he shared with Anne Gay, 52, a waitress who has not been heard from since June 10. Borg suffered burns over 70 percent of his body.

Police and the state fire marshals determined the gas line to the clothes dryer was cut and the valve was left open when Borg’s rented home went up in flames. No one besides Borg was at the home.

“This was no accident,” Kaupas said following the blaze.

Borg and Gay had been living together since shortly after meeting last year.

Kaupas described the couple’s relationship as “contentious,” noting deputies were called for 13 domestic disputes since January, the last one hours before Gay made her last known phone calls to friends.

Borg has a pending sentencing after being found guilty of threatening to kill a neighbor and reckless driving during an incident in September 2012.

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