CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A Texas man who survived a New Jersey house fire that killed three people a dozen years ago has been charged with setting it.
Jesus Perez-Rivera, 30, was charged with felony murder in the deaths of 32-year-old Luis Silva, his 29-year-old wife, Maria, and her 6-year-old son, Carlos Cruz, authorities said Thursday, according to The Courier-Post (http://on.cpsj.com/29RagVE ).
The blaze tore through a two-story row home just before dawn on July 9, 2004.
"You could hear the people inside screaming, 'Help me, help me!' and the children crying, 'Mommy, Mommy!'" said Lucy Malavet, a neighbor.
Silva died while attempting to extinguish the fire in the living room. His wife and son died after being hospitalized for injuries they sustained in the blaze.
"In these kinds of cases, we are frequently revisiting the evidence and looking for additional information," said Detective Andy McNeil, a spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor.
Prosecutors said the Killeen, Texas, man moved from Camden to Puerto Rico with his family shortly after the fire.
Perez-Rivera was taken into custody by the Killeen Police Department and is being held in Texas while awaiting extradition. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney to comment on his behalf.