A California man has been arrested for allegedly killing his sister, who was in the late stages of pregnancy, and then setting her body on fire early this week.
Aaron Jamal Dudley, 41, stands accused of two counts of murder, according to the authorities in Fresno, because his sister’s unborn son – who would have been named Noah had he been born – was so far along that he likely could have survived outside the womb.
The unborn child did not die in the fire. Rather, he died as a result of 26-year-old N-Kya Rebecca Logan being stabbed in her uterus multiple times, authorities in Fresno County said.
Two days before she died, Logan had her baby shower.
She was just over eight months pregnant.
Police responded to a report about a deceased woman who appeared to have been set on fire at around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, according to Fresno-based NBC affiliate KSEE. Logan’s body was found in an alley just off the side of a dirt access road. Responding officers noted that she was visibly pregnant. Homicide detectives and Fresno Fire Department arson investigators noted the presence of a melted gas can just feet away from the victim, the TV station reported. Gas appeared to have been poured on her body by her killer.
Police said a witness reported seeing someone on the access road start a fire – after they hauled a city garbage bin to the area. The witness allegedly said they thought the person was just burning trash.
Detectives later consulted surveillance footage that allegedly showed Dudley pushing a garbage bin from the home he shared with his sister to the alley where her burned body was found.
“We have several witnesses who saw the fire, but one witness who actually took a picture of a person who we believe is the suspect standing over the body,” Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said at a recent press conference. “Several surveillance videos which show the suspect pushing a trash bin. We believe the victim was inside the trash bin. She was taken to the alley before she was set on fire.”
The police chief remarked upon the gruesome and disconcerting discovery made by responding officers: “When they arrived they saw a victim who had been set on fire, completely engulfed in fire.”
Dudley was allegedly arrested trying to flee his home as officers executed a search warrant.
During the Wednesday press conference, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa A. Smittcamp said “the killing of a fetus is murder” and added that her office would seek the death penalty.
Law enforcement have not speculated as to a motive for the slaying.
The police chief did say, however, that Dudley has previously been adjudged to be a danger to his family. Officers previously visited the siblings’ home in response to a 911 call on July 28, 2021, authorities said. That call allegedly resulted in Dudley being placed on a 72-hour hold.
“The victim did fear for her safety on that call in July,” Balderrama said, in response to a question about the relationship between the defendant and his sister. “So if I were to define it, I’d say not great. But at this point, without getting any further disclosures from the victim’s family or suspect, I can’t say for certain what their relationship was like.”
Police believe Logan was stabbed to death inside the house and taken to the garage where she was placed in a trash bin. Her body was then moved to the alley off the dirt road, where she was doused in gasoline and set ablaze.
“As a police chief, I find this horrific,” Balderrama said. “It takes an awful lot of evil, hate and planning to stab your own sister multiple times.”
[images via Fresno County Police Department]
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