LANTANA, Fla. — Suspicion of a romatic relationship between a Florida man's step-father and his dead mother's caretaker led him to set the woman on fire, deputies say.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said it was called out to a house fire in Lantana, Florida on Nov. 30, but what they found was more than the usual fire call.
EMS was the first to spot the caretaker on fire outside the house once on scene. The house behind her was also up in flames.
The woman was taken to the hospital with second and third-degree burns covering her body while deputies placed 53-year-old Luis Quinonez in handcuffs.
Quinonez was questioned about the fire that caused the floors in the home to cave, appliances to disintegrate and mounds of ash to scatter the house-- that's when they say he laid out the timeline of events.
According to an arrest report, Quinonez shared that his mother had recently died and that her caretaker had recently moved back in within the last eight months, renting a room in the home.
Deputies say Quinonez believes that the caretaker began sleeping with his step-father and became "agitated" and "irate" about the situation on top of "all the problems he had accumulating in his life." This allegedly enranged him.
After a few drinks, he began yelling at the caretaker and told her by the time he "left the residence and returned, she better not be home," according to the sheriff's office
But when he returned she was still there. So, he stormed into her room, poured gasoline all over her bed and ignited it with his lighter, an arrest report shows.
That's when witnesses say they saw the woman running from the home covered in flames whith her skin peeling off.
What was Quinonez doing at the time? Additional witnesses say he walked past her to a neighbor, took a hose out of their hand and started spraying water on the house instead.
Deputies say Quinonez and the woman did not have a relationship since she had lived there but that he expressed he loved her and "wished he had killed" the step-father instead.
As for his actions that night, deputies wanted to drive home what he is accused of could have killed the woman-- an arrest report shows he responded, "I know."
Quinonez was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder with a deadly weapon.
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