Monday, July 26, 2010

Regal Road arson

Just months after the deadly blaze behind Carl's Jr. on Regal Road, another late night fire hit the same street last night.

This time, police have made an arrest.

Hot smoke charred the attic of the home and a Mercedes-Benz parked in the driveway was slightly damaged, Sturtevant said.

Investigators said the Mercedes appears to belong to a woman, believed to be in her late 50s to 60s, who was detained for questioning. Neighbors told investigators they saw her place some type of accelerant on the hood of the BMW seconds before the fire began, Sturtevant said

No injuries were reported and no other homes were scorched. A damage estimate is still being determined.

The name of the woman in custody has not been released. A motive for the arson has not been disclosed.

Sounds like a catfight! Mercedes lady vs. Beemer woman.

Note to future arsonists: it's probably not a good idea to park the getaway car so close to the fire.

UPDATE: The suspect is 64-year-old Nancy Lee Ellis, of Caminito Ocean Cove in Cardiff. The victim was Marianne LaPiedra. Speculation on the motive is running wild in the comments at the U-T, going from a love triangle to friends committing insurance fraud. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as details develop.

UPDATE 2: Ellis was reportedly intoxicated, which would give more weight to the love triangle motive and less to the insurance fraud motive. And a hero dog saves people from the fire.


  1. Thanks for posting. The picture showed up in the Wall Street Journal this morning with nothing but a caption: "Marianne LaPiedra surveys the damage to her BMW at her home Monday in Encinatas, Calif, in an incident authorities suspect was arson." No story, no nothing, just the caption.

  2. Thanks, Gordon! I hadn't seen that but here it is. Local girl makes good!