Police in Orange County say the woman charged with killing and raping an 8-year-old Northern California girl was questioned in connection with two arson fires.

La Palma police Capt. Jim Enright said 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby was considered a person of interest in two fires set at a home where she lived in 2007.

Enright said Wednesday that a gag order issued a day earlier by a San Joaquin County judge handling the Sandra Cantu murder case prevented him from discussing Huckaby further.

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Any investigation would halt while the murder case proceeded, according to Enright.

Authorities said the two fires caused nearly $90,000 in damages.

Huckaby remains in jail without bail facing allegations she kidnapped, raped and murdered her 5-year-old daughter's playmate. She is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Meanwhile, Sandra's mother said her daughter never felt uncomfortable at Huckaby's home.

Maria Chavez told talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview that aired Wednesday that she was "very shocked" to learn the Sunday school teacher was a suspect.

Chavez said had talked to Huckaby "casually." She also said that the woman's little girl never came to her house — Sandra always went there to play instead.

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