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POSTED February 20, 2013 9:06 p.m.

TURLOCK ARSON CONSIDERED ATTEMPTED MURDER: TURLOCK  - A fire at an abandoned cheese factory Tuesday night was not only arson, but attempted murder, Turlock Police said.

When fire crews arrived at the scene on West Main and Tully streets around 7:19 p.m. Tuesday, they found the building engulfed in flames, Turlock police officer Mayra Lewis said.

Crews battled the fire for nearly two hours before getting it under control. Lewis said the fire started inside of the building and was considered suspicious.

On Wednesday, police arrested Lanette Sullivan, Wanda White and Erica Clardy for felony arson and attempted murder. Police said the three women, the male victim and several other homeless people were living in the factory. Police believe the victim got into an argument with one of the women, which turned into a fight with all three.

"In an attempt to protect himself, the victim went and hid in the rafters," Lewis said. "The responsibles all knew all he was up there and intentionally caused this fire."

Police and fire investigators said the women set items inside the building on fire. Everyone inside got out unharmed including the victim, who was able to escape before the building was fully engulfed. Police said the victim refused medical treatment.

 

MOM ARRESTED IN HER BABY’S DEATH: OAKDALE  - A suspicious discovery during an autopsy into a baby's death lead to the arrest of her mother.

Oakdale police responded to a home on Obsidian Drive on Dec. 11 to reports of an unresponsive infant. When officers arrived at the scene, they found that the 44-day-old girl had died.

Initially, the infant's death appeared to be the result of SIDS, police said.

However, high levels of meth were found in the infant's system, according to the Stanislaus County Coroner's autopsy report that was released recently.

On Tuesday, police arrested Nicole L. Smith, 31, in connection to the baby girl's death. Investigators believe the infant ingested meth through the mother's breast milk.

Smith was booked into Stanislaus County Jail for child endangerment. Her bail was set at $1 million.

 

 

 

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