Tangerang, Banten. The police have named a pregnant 30-year-old woman as the prime suspect in the burning shophouse case that killed three people on Saturday morning. The victims were identified to be the woman’s boyfriend, LS (35), and both his parents, ES (63) and LT (55).
The crime occurred in the early hours of Saturday in Intan Jaya Motor, the victim’s motorcycle repair shop in Tangerang, a district just on the outskirts of Jakarta. The suspect, identified as MA, allegedly doused the shop in gasoline. The shop, which doubles as the family’s home in the upper levels, later caught fire.
The suspect allegedly had prepared nine liters of Pertamax gasoline wrapped in plastic bags and threw two plastic bags into the repair shop, which immediately caught fire. The police later found the rest of the gasoline in the suspect's vehicle.
The fire traveled up the building, where the family stayed, and ultimately killed the three victims. Dicky Kurnain, the commander of the Cibodas Fire Department, believes that the victims had fainted due to suffocation and smoke poisoning and died when they were caught in the flames.
He also noted that the fire took almost three hours to tame, as the building was filled with flammable materials and the fire was already large when the firefighters arrived on the scene.
Aside from the three victims, two other people, M and N, were also in the building during the fire. They were rescued by firefighters and were brought to Tangerang District Hospital.
Comr. Abdul Rachim, the head of public relations at the Tangerang City Metro Police, said the motive behind the homicide was anger and revenge.
MA, pregnant with LS’s child, confessed that she felt hurt by him and his family, who disapproved of their relationship. Despite the pregnancy, she and LS were not given blessings to marry by the boyfriend's parent.
Comr. Zazali Haryono, the head of Jatiuwung Police, the suspect, and victim LS fought before the incident. During the fight, she threatened to burn down the shop and the family’s residence. One of the surviving witnesses, N, LS’s brother in whom the victim confided about the fight, relayed this information to authorities,
The police were planning to press a premeditated murder charge against MA, who, if found guilty, would face up to 20 years prison sentence and a possibility of the death penalty.
"The suspect is currently still being investigated intensively and is in the custody of the Jatiuwung Police Headquarters," Rachim said on Wednesday.
MA is the sole suspect in this homicide case and has no known accomplices in her alleged crimes.