‘They took my baby’: Family calls for suspects to be held accountable in fire that killed 3-year-old girl

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MANSFIELD, Ohio- Police on Thursday arrested two teenagers in connection with the arson of an abandoned home that spread to a house next door, killing a three-year-old girl.

The fire on South Foster Street started in the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday.

Five people, including a pregnant mother, were able to escape the burning home next door.

But Chloe Williams, who was visiting, died in the flames.

Police on Thursday announced the arrest of Roscoe Hunter, 18, who had dated a girl living across the street from the vacant home that was intentionally set ablaze.

Hunter, who was captured at the scene by FOX 8 cameras on Wednesday, was arraigned early Thursday on a felony charge of aggravated arson.

A young woman, who asked not to be identified, told FOX 8 News she called police after Hunter told her he needed to leave town and questioned what the consequences would be for setting the fire.

Mark Hawkins, an older brother of the victim, said he actually confronted Hunter at the scene on Wednesday.

“I talked to him face to face and he told me himself he didn’t do it,” said Hawkins.

“This whole time everybody was out here with cameras trying to get a story when the guy who actually did it was right in their face,” he added.

The victim’s parents on Thursday were also trying to make sense of the crime that took their daughter’s life.

“I would describe her as the life of the party. She loves to sing; she loves to dance,” said Clifton Williams, Chloe’s father.

“She’d go to the store and just walk up and give random strangers hugs, and strangers could look angry or depressed but once Chloe up and give them a hug they would leave with a smile on their face,” he told FOX 8.

“She loved playing with other kids, especially older kids,” said Kashawn Hawkins, Chloe’s mother.

“He knew that there was four boys that live in that house and my daughter is there every day — Monday through Friday because they are always outside playing,” she added.

“He knew that that house next door that was less than three feet away had children living in it,” said Hawkins.

Police on Thursday also said they arrested a juvenile, just days away from his 14th birthday, who is charged with the juvenile equivalent of felony arson.

Because he is a juvenile he was not being identified.

Hunter was being held on $1 million bond following his arraignment.

The case was being handled by the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office with additional charges possible.

Mansfield police said the investigation is not over and additional people could be arrested.

One neighbor told FOX 8 News she turned security camera video over to police that shows a group of people at the scene just before the fire.

The victim’s parents hope anyone who had anything at all to do with the crime is held responsible.

“I want them held accountable — all of them; everybody that knew they were going down there and the ones that were there,” said Hawkins.

“They took my baby; they took our baby, you know? The most beautiful three-year-old walking the planet and she’s not here. That hurts; that really hurts,” said Williams.

Continuing coverage.

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