The grandson of an elderly woman found in a burning house near San Bernardino before dawn on Saturday has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, sheriff officials said.
Charles Tyson Christian, 47, was arrested after detectives and arson investigators responded to the home at around 2:15 a.m. and then questioned him and other witnesses, spokesperson Cynthia Bachman said from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
When deputies arrived at the house located in the 7200 block of Tippecanoe Avenue in the county area near the San Bernardino town border, they found “thick smoke and flames in the back of the house, “officials said in a statement.
They also found a couple, identified as Douglas, 68, and Linda Guyette, 67, who had burns after trying to save another woman from the inside.
Firefighters then entered the house and removed Charlotte Kathryn Knight, 85. She was taken to a nearby hospital, but died about an hour later, authorities said.
The sheriff’s department and county arson investigators have initiated the criminal investigation “due to the nature of the fire,” the statement said. They did not say what was suspicious about the fire.
The deputies found Christian at the scene, questioned him and then placed him under arrest. Bachman identified Christian as Knight’s grandson and as the son of Douglas and Linda Guyette.
Detectives did not say how they thought Knight was dead. The cause of the fire was also still under investigation.
Douglas Guyette was still in intensive care at a hospital on Sunday, recovering from burns. Linda Guyette also suffered burns, but was treated and released.