A pregnant woman expecting twins remains hospitalized in a critical condition after her boyfriend set her on fire, police said.
Police said Devonne Marsh got into an argument with his 26-year-old girlfriend at their home near Packard Street and Outer Drive in Detroit, Michigan, on January 14, Fox affiliate WJBK reported.
Marsh, 41, then allegedly doused his girlfriend with lighter fluid and set her alight.
He is facing felony charges of assault/bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to online records from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. He is also charged with possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, a misdemeanor.
Meanwhile, the woman, who is more than six months pregnant, has serious burns on more than 60 percent of her body, according to WJBK. She is in a critical condition in hospital, and it’s not yet clear if her babies will survive.
Detroit Police Commander Michael McGinnis told the station that the woman had “traumatic injuries.”
“How do you do this to another human being? I can’t—it’s unimaginable,” McGinnis said. “I did see pictures and I just…the pain she must be suffering, I can’t imagine.”
Sgt. Kayla Williams, who runs the Detroit Police Department’s domestic violence unit, told the station that the crime had initially been reported by a tipster.
The woman, who was not named, had been afraid that Marsh would retaliate, but she later agreed to tell officers what had happened.
“I want to applaud her for coming forward,” Williams said. “I want to again let her know that she is not alone. She has the men and women of the Detroit Police Department to support her.”
Marsh appeared in court earlier this week and remains in custody on a $5,000 bond, online records show.
According to WJBK, Marsh’s bond was set at $50,000, or 10 percent, meaning he can post bail with $5,000.
Stock photo. Police in Detroit, Michigan, said a pregnant woman is in hospital after she was set on fire.
The Detroit Police Department has been contacted for additional comment.
On average, nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. every minute—that equates to more than 10 million women and men a year, according to the Colorado-based National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
The organization defines domestic violence as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.”
It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse.
For anonymous, confidential help 24/7, people can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224, or by visiting the website.