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Huntsville Police seek man accused of setting girlfriend on fire

The incident happened Wednesday night at an apartment in west Huntsville.

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 5:11 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 5:24 PM

A Huntsville family said a 36-year-old woman was set on fire by her boyfriend. The incident happened at an apartment in west Huntsville on Newson Road, off of Drake Avenue.

"I hate to say this, but I really do think he tried to kill her," said Tashona Gillispie, the victim's niece.

Huntsville Police said investigators are working to arrest the man they believe is responsible, but his name has not been released yet.

The victim's family said the woman is out of the hospital and recovering with 2nd degree burns. Her niece said she's still in disbelief about what happened.

"He was so adamant that she purchased the alcohol when they went to the store. It doesn't sound like an accident," the victim's niece said. "I was told my aunt had been severely burned by her boyfriend. He poured rubbing alcohol on her chest and set her on fire."

The woman who was burned said she doesn't want to be identified, but her family said they shared her story in the hope of encouraging other victims of domestic violence to come forward.

"This is the first time he has seriously harmed her in this way. There have been words exchanged, but to my knowledge, this is the first time he ever put hands on her or anything like that," the victim's niece said.

One of the couple's neighbors said he was shocked to hear what happened after seeing first responders at Wedgewood Apartments, where the couple lived.

"You are not supposed to do no female like that. Especially if you have been going for a while, and you love her like you say you do. That's too much," said a neighbor, Mirandez Hill.

He said he was upset to think how quickly both of his friends' lives changed.

"She will never be the same. Her skin will never be the same. She will have to wear that scar for the rest of her life. You basically tried to kill her. She's not going to feel comfortable no more," he said.

Huntsville Police have not released the suspect's name but told us if and when he's caught, he will face a felony domestic violence charge. That charge can carry a life sentence in prison.

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