N.J. Father Allegedly Set House Fire on Purpose, Killing 9-Month-Old Daughter and Her Grandparents

Police have not discussed a motive

Malani Sanders and Tiffany Abrams-Jones
Tiffany Abrams-Jones and Malani Sanders. Photo: gofundme

A 23-year-old New Jersey man was charged this week with the murders of his infant daughter and her maternal grandparents, PEOPLE confirms.

In a statement, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office alleges that early last Friday morning, Michael Sanders set a home in Hamilton Township on fire.

Flames engulfed the duplex within minutes, causing a partial roof collapse.

Killed in the fire was 9-month-old Malani Sanders, according to the statement.

The baby's grandmother, 42-year-old Tiffany Abrams-Jones, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Her husband, 50-year-old Prince Jones, was rushed to a nearby hospital. On Sunday, Jones died from injuries sustained in the fire.

Two other individuals residing in the home, including Malani's mother, are receiving treatment for critical injuries they suffered.

Sanders was arrested Monday.

He is charged with three counts each of murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated arson and one count of causing widespread injury or damage.

Sanders has not yet entered pleas to those charges, and it was unclear if he has retained a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

The statement says investigators discovered surveillance video allegedly showing the suspect at a gas station shortly before the start of the fire.

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In the footage, Sanders is seen buying flammable liquid and a torch lighter.

Neighborhood security cameras also filmed him heading towards the home and then going away from it.

Before the fire was started, Sanders allegedly texted the baby's mother, telling her to get the infant out of the house.

A motive has not been disclosed publicly.

A GoFundMe campaign is seeking donations to pay for the three funerals.

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