Detroit firebombing suspect arrested in West Virginia

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

A woman accused in a deadly Detroit firebombing late last year has been arrested in West Virginia.

Daquana Malika Williams, 21, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Morgantown by the U.S. Marshals Mountain State Fugitive Task Force, officials confirmed.

She is wanted by the Detroit Police Department on two counts of murder, assault with intent to murder and first-degree arson stemming from a Dec. 14 firebombing in the 19600 block of Hoyt on the city’s east side.

Williams and two others allegedly returned to the home about 2:30 a.m. after an earlier dispute and threw bottles containing a flammable substance through a first-floor window. The resulting fire killed two people and injured a third.

“We received a tip earlier this week from the U.S. Marshals Service in Detroit, who indicated that they believed she had traveled to our area and they provided some names of her associates that lived in our area,” Terry Moore, supervisory deputy U.S. marshal, said Wednesday from West Virginia.

Moore said the tip from Detroit likely came from a series of local interviews with Williams’ associates. In West Virginia, officials used surveillance and interviews to narrow down the woman’s location.

“Within about 24 hours, we were able to ID her likely associate that she would stay with,” he said. “We went to the residence and just knocked on the door.”

Marshals were allowed into the home, where Williams initially falsely identified herself as “China,” a known alias, Moore said. The woman eventually admitted her true identity and was taken into custody.

“She was charged as a fugitive from justice here in West Virginia, which starts the extradition process to go back to Michigan,” Moore said.

Williams, who is pregnant, was taken to a hospital for evaluation and was to be lodged Wednesday at the North Central Regional Jail to await extradition, Moore said. The process varies by state, but typically occurs within 30 days, he added.

“It was very good cooperation between Michigan and West Virginia,” Moore said of the investigation. “It got the job done fairly quickly.”

Jebrie Cross and Mariah Thomas also are suspects in the December firebombing. Each was charged late last year with two counts of felony murder, two counts of arson and two counts of assault with intent to murder.

Among the victims was Cross’ ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old James Jordan, as well as 20-year-old Jana John. Another 22-year-old man was in the house at the time of the fire and survived.

The family was in the process of moving, so most of them — including young children — were at their new home when the firebombing took place, officials said at the time.

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