Crime I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Police: Woman Set Fire To Home With Ex-Husband And Child Inside

By: Leon County Sheriff's Office; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Leon County Sheriff's Office; Julie Montanaro Email

By: Julie Montanaro
October 25, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A Tallahassee woman is accused of firebombing a house with her ex-husband and child inside.

Deputies say she rolled up court papers and used them as a wick to start not one, but three fires.

There's plywood covering the window of this house on Rawhide Ridge. Deputies say Valerie Moore threw a molotov cocktail through the window into the bedroom of a five year old girl.

A neighbor called 911 after she heard a boom and looked outside.

"I seen the truck a blazing and then I seen a fire on the porch," she said.

Deputies say the man who lived here heard breaking glass and when he went to investigate realized the house was on fire.

He grabbed his daugther and his roommate and got out. He told deputies he saw his ex-wfire running from the scene.

"She used firebombs and she firebombed this house and she specifically targeted the bedroom of this five year old," LT Tony Drzewiecki said.

43 year old Valerie Moore is now under arrest accused of attempted murder, arson and possession of five firebombs which deputies say she made out of beer bottles.

Deputies say she tried to torch two trucks parked outside the house too.

"She used some court papers to use as wicks. She put them in the gas tanks and ignited those," Drzewiecki said.

Court records say the husband asked for and got a tresspass warning against Moore in July after she broke into the house by removing an air conditioner from the little girl's window.

The ex-husband told deputies he's grateful he was awake Wednesday night because he, his daughter and his roommate could have "burned to death."

"I guess they knew a child was in there. and you gonna do something like that," the neighbor said shaking her head. "It could have got worse than what it did."

Moore was caught trying to catch a ride to a nearby truck stop. She is now being held without bond and will face a judge again tomorrow.


Press Release: Leon County Sheriff's Office

Yesterday morning, Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at approximately 12:30 a.m. Leon County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 7229 Rawhide Ridge (Sandstone Ranch neighborhood in western Leon County) in reference to a residential fire.

One of the three occupants of the residence reported hearing what sounded like someone breaking into the home, through a window in a bedroom occupied by his sleeping 5-year-old daughter. The father retrieved his daughter from the bedroom and discovered the residence was on fire.

He also witnessed his ex-wife, Valarie Moore, fleeing the area on foot and moments later the bedroom, which had been occupied by the child, was fully engulfed in flames. The father was able to escape the residence with his daughter and the only other occupant of the residence without physical injury. The fire was contained to the child’s bedroom and the exterior of the residence.

Detectives with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of the State Fire Marshal conducted an investigation and discovered extensive evidence of arson. A gas can was found on the front porch which had been set ablaze and glass bottles filled with liquid accelerant, believed to be gasoline, where also found at the scene.

One of the bottles was found outside the child’s room; it was broken and started to burn. Two vehicles parked at the residence had also been tampered with in attempt to set them on fire.

Moore was located later that same morning on Hwy 90 west, near Geddie Road. It appears after Moore fled the arson scene she hid in the area of Geddie Road and later asked a citizen for assistance in getting to a near-by truck stop in Gadsden County.

The citizen called the Sheriff’s Office, and Moore was taken into custody by responding deputies. Moore was booked into the Leon County Jail and is charged with three counts of attempted homicide, five counts of possession of fire bombs, one count of arson of a dwelling, one count of arson to a vehicle, one count of attempted arson to a vehicle and one count of trespass after warning.


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