18-Year-Old Woman Accused Of Starting Church Fire, Writing ‘Satan Lives’
OREM, Utah – Police have arrested an 18-year-old woman who they say intentionally broke into a chapel belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and set it on fire.
The Orem Fire Department responded to the fire at approximately 1:30 a.m. Friday, but not before there was substantial damage inside the church. The fire happened in the area of 1200 North and 900 West.
Firefighters didn’t see any flames when they arrived, but they could smell smoke when they opened the doors to the chapel.
Officials said it was obvious the fire had been intentionally set.
“Every one of the pews in the chapel had obvious signs of an accelerant used and were obviously charred from the damage from the fire,” said OFD Deputy Chief Jason Earl.
Damage is estimated to be at about $600,000, but it was mostly contained to the chapel itself. The rest of the meetinghouse suffered no serious damage, authorities said.
When police went to check nearby churches, they found Jillian Robinson, 18. They said they could smell gasoline on her backpack and a Sharpie marker that helped link her to the fire.
“The writing that she had written on some of the walls inside the church said, ‘Satan lives,'” said Orem Police Department Lt. Craig Martinez. “So, just someone with some different views than the LDS Church, apparently.”
Robinson is in jail and faces arson and burglary charges.
The case is still under investigation.
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