DETROIT – A woman intentionally set a fire at her boyfriend's mobile home in suburban Detroit, killing two of her young children while fleeing with a third, a prosecutor said Tuesday in filing murder charges.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy did not specify a motive, saying only that Sharon Hinojosa "knowingly left the children who were not fathered by her boyfriend."
Hinojosa, 29, was charged with arson, second-degree murder and felony murder, which is murder committed during another crime. The maximum penalty is life in prison.
"This should send chills up the spine of every person. I can't imagine the abject horror of the last seconds of their young lives," Worthy said.
She said Hinojosa set the fire around 3 a.m. Friday in Huron Township, about 20 miles southwest of Detroit, killing daughter Alayna Hinojosa, 3, and son Anthony Hinojosa, 4. Hinojosa escaped with a 1-year-old son, Worthy said, while Alayna and Anthony remained trapped inside.
"I cannot tell you how disgusting this case has been. ... It has to be one of the worst ways to die," the prosecutor said.
Hinojosa, meanwhile, was in a hospital after drinking rubbing alcohol. Worthy would not provide details about how or when it happened, but Hinojosa has been in custody since the weekend.
Her attorney, Mike Granzeier, declined to comment on the case.
Hinojosa's arraignment was not immediately set. A judge may have to conduct it at the hospital, Huron Township Police Chief Greg Hinzmann said. Her condition was not disclosed but is not considered life-threatening.
A neighbor, Joe Dickes, said he tried to rescue the children, first through the door and then through windows, but flames were too intense.
"We heard the screams inside. There was nothing we could do," he said, referring to himself and another neighbor.
"Sharon was running up and down the street. She didn't care," Dickes recalled. "She said, 'I couldn't wake them up.' Come on, you can throw them out the door."