Homeless man set sleeping West Virginia woman on fire: local media

By Taylor Harris

(Reuters) - A homeless man was accused of setting on fire a woman who was also homeless while she slept on a front porch in West Virginia, leaving the victim in critical condition, local media reported on Monday.

A surveillance camera at a house next door captured the incident on Sunday morning in West Virginia's capital, Charleston, Lieutenant Steve Cooper of the Charleston Police Department told West Virginia Metro News.

Victim Rachele Jarrett, 44, was in "grave" critical condition, Cooper said. The suspect was still at large.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said at a news briefing that a $2,500 reward was being offered for information that led to his arrest.

The video showed a man walking up to the porch with a gasoline can while the woman was asleep, Cooper said. After a burst of flame, the woman ran off the porch engulfed in flames.

Police captured a still image of the suspect from the video and determined that he had slept at a nearby homeless shelter on Saturday night. The suspect gave a false name to the shelter and was not required to show identification.

Police are now trying to identify and locate the suspect.

"It's very disturbing to watch and a really heinous crime." Cooper told the news station. "Our main goal right now is to get this individual identified and arrested. If we get his name, we'll have him."

The video showed the suspect wearing a New York Yankees shirt, a blue hat and light colored shorts.

(Story corrects amount of reward to $2,500 in paragraph 4.)

(Reporting by Taylor Harris in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Cynthia Osterman)

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