SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Police arrested a 26-year-old Santa Monica woman in connection with an arson fire that killed an elderly victim, authorities said Thursday.
Fire officials said they suspect arson in the fire that torched part of a Santa Monica home in the 2600 block of 31st Street earlier this week. While battling the blaze, firefighters found an elderly woman, believed to be in her 90s, inside.
Despite desperate attempts to save her life, the woman died.
Police arrested Victoria Darlington, accused of murder and arson, in Riverside. They said police had contact with her in the past for mental health issues but nothing violent
Manny, a nearby neighbor, said he and his sister can't imagine anyone wanting to harm the elderly woman.
"With rising real estate, you are always suspicious. In the back of my mind, who would want to bring harm to this woman?" he said.
Residents said they do not remember ever seeing Darlington at the elderly woman's home.
Santa Monica police confirmed the victim and suspect are related by family and lived together, but they did not disclose the exact relationship.
Arson investigators have yet to disclose what was used to set the home on fire.
One thing is for sure, the victim will be missed in the neighborhood.
"For this woman and the neighbors who have shared many block parties with her -- very sad news," Manny added.
26-year-old Santa Monica woman arrested in fatal fire that killed elderly victim