A 23-year-old Central Islip man set fire to his ex-girlfriend’s car following a domestic dispute on Sunday, said Suffolk police, killing the woman’s brother and burning the family’s home to the ground.
Ricardo Romero-Flores, 23, of Oakland Avenue, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Hernandez’s death.
Police and firefighters responded to 114 Alkier St. at about 3 a.m. after a 911 caller reported a fire. A 2006 Nissan Murano, which was parked in the driveway, was engulfed in flames and the fire then spread to the home, police said.
After the fire was extinguished, Hernandez was found dead in the lower level of the home.
Earlier in the night Romero-Flores had a confrontation with Hernandez’s sister, his former girlfriend, Yessica Hernandez, 24, said Suffolk Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky. Romero-Flores was angered when he saw Yessica Hernandez with another man and punched out the back window of her car after confronting her in the parking lot of a convenience store, Pelkofsky said.
Romero-Flores later went to Yessica Hernandez’s home and set the car on fire, Pelkofsky said. At least 11 people live in the home, which consisted of at least two apartments and was destroyed in the fire, he said.
Romero-Flores could face additional charges, including arson, Pelkofsky said. Romero-Flores and Yessica Hernandez also have a seven-month old child, Pelkofsky said.
The homeowner, Juan Ortiz, suffered burns to his hands while attempting to extinguish the fire. He was transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center where he was treated and released.
The cause of the fire was not released by police on Sunday night. However, the fire was not storm-related, police said.
Romero-Flores is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Monday, police said. He is being held at the third precinct, police said.
Detectives are asking anyone with information on this incident to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers to 800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.