Man Allegedly Set Girlfriend on Fire with Accelerant and Cigarette, Then Bought a Bus Ticket to Mexico
A Florida woman was burned on over 99 percent of her body and is not expected to survive her injuries, prosecutors say, alleging that her boyfriend had purposefully set her on fire before buying a bus ticket to Mexico.
The victim was not identified. But on Tuesday, the suspect, 40-year-old Noe Jimenez-Cortes, was ordered held in jail without bond following his arrest Monday night in North Lauderdale, reports the Sun-Sentinel and South Florida TV news station WPLG.
"The preliminary investigation reveals that Jimenez-Cortes poured an accelerant on the victim’s body and ignited the fire with a cigarette," the Broward County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
The victim identified her alleged assailant to deputies. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition after a neighbor called 911 around 4:30 a.m. Monday reporting a woman's cry for help, reports the sheriff's office. The caller said he did not want to open his door but looked through a window.
“A lady is screaming outside her house like crazy,” the male caller told the dispatcher, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “She’s burnt.”
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Another neighbor, Jamila Navarrete, said, “All you heard was ‘knock, knock’ through the wall,” reports WPLG. "She probably could have been banging and trying to open the door, as well."
When no one answered, the victim apparently continued to the home of another neighbor, identified only as Norma, who said she heard the victim claim she was dying and pleading for someone to call police, according to the outlet.
By the time deputies located the woman, the suspect had fled.
"I think the court should know that the doctors do not expect this victim to survive her injuries,” Assistant State Attorney Alix Buckelew said during the court hearing conducted Tuesday over Zoom, reports the Sun-Sentinel. “She was burned on 99 percent of her body. The only two places on her body that weren’t burned were the soles of her feet and one part of her ankle."
After Jimenez-Cortes was arrested Monday night, detectives learned he was planning to leave the state.
“He did have a bus ticket to Mexico,” Buckelew said.
Jimenez-Cortes is being held on charges of attempted murder and arson. An attorney on his behalf was not immediately identified, and it was unclear if he had entered a plea.