A Washington state woman suspected of serial arson now faces murder charges and 17 counts of arson after being linked to other fires, including one that killed an 83-year-old man .
Sarah Ramey, 42, is facing charges of first and second degree murder after being linked to a series of fires including a New Year’s Eve fire that resulted in the death of 83-year-old James Elliot, according to documents obtained from KCPQ-TV.
Ramey was charged earlier this year with eight counts of arson in incidents between January 23 and 26 this year, but she is now accused of being involved in a string of other arson attacks in the closing hours of 2021, including the Fire that killed Elliot.
It was initially believed that the fire at Elliot’s house was accidental, and it was determined that Elliot had died of smoke inhalation. However, investigators later determined that Ramey was involved after she allegedly used his credit cards to purchase more than $6,200 worth of merchandise at Lowe’s Hardware store in Tacoma.
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Detectives say in the indictment that after the fire, Ramey returned to Elliot’s house with a friend and removed items from the property after telling the friend that she had permission to remove her from the burned home for something of value for sale to pay their rent.
Inside the home, authorities said Ramey had defecated in one of the toilets and the excrement had been tested, but the results were not yet known.
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When Ramey’s phone was searched after a warrant was issued, authorities said her browsing history contained suspicious searches, including “clues to Tacoma arson,” “how long does credit card theft take to jail,” and “can I take my burnt money?” to the bank and have it replaced.”
Authorities say several of the 17 arson attacks allegedly committed by Ramey took place while families with young children were in the apartment buildings.
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The charges against Ramey include two counts of murder, 17 counts of arson, burglary, home burglary, identity theft and auto theft.
Ramey’s bail has been set at $5 million and her next scheduled court appearance is December 8.