Suspect arrested in 'horrific' death of woman on New York elevator

Suspect in burning of woman in New York elevator

A man who walked into a New York Police Department station in the wee hours of Sunday morning saying he'd started a fire has been arrested in the burning death of a woman he allegedly sprayed with a flammable liquid and set on fire.

Jerome Isaac, 47, allegedly confronted the woman in an elevator Saturday afternoon, doused her and then tossed a Moltov cocktail on her, according to an Associated Press report that quotes an NYPD spokesman. Local media identify the victim as Doris Gillespie, 64.

Deputy Chief Steven Moro of the New York City Fire Department told the Prospect Heights Patch that the killing "was the most horrific thing I've ever seen." The website adds that five others were injured in the blaze and Gillespie's charred remains were found in the elevator.

The suspect may have lived with Gillespie for about six months last year, the Associated Press said.

Isaac was questioned Sunday morning after police said he walked into a police station smelling strongly of gasoline and turned himself in.

The alleged attack was reportedly captured on two video cameras, one of them inside the elevator. Police released images of the man that showed him wearing white gloves and what appeared to be a white dust mask atop his head.

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-- Amy Hubbard+

Photo: Surveillance images provided by the New York Police Department show a suspect in the burning death of a woman on a New York elevator. Credit: New York Police Department / Associated Press

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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