AP NEWS

Oklahoma woman arrested for blaze in home where 2 found dead

January 2, 2020 GMT

HARRAH, Okla. (AP) — A 19-year-old woman has been arrested on a federal arson complaint in connection with a blaze at a mobile home on tribal land near Harrah in which two people were found dead, federal authorities said Thursday.

Desma Valdez was arrested on a criminal complaint filed earlier this week that alleges she deliberately set fire to the home Saturday on tribal land of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.

Valdez told investigators she doused a mattress with gasoline where two people were sleeping and started the blaze, according to a federal investigator’s affidavit. The victims were identified as 22-year-old Tyler Kaulaity and 20-year-old Daisica Rice.

Valdez told investigators she was mad at Kaulaity for abusing her and at Rice for not stopping him, and that she was drinking vodka before she doused the mattress with gasoline.

A telephone message left with Valdez’s public defender on Thursday wasn’t immediately returned.

Federal prosecutors say an investigation into the cause of deaths is underway and that additional charges could be filed.

Because Valdez is a member of the Kickapoo Tribe and the trailer was on tribal land, charges were filed in federal court, prosecutors said.