Fire marshals found a fragment of a note at the scene of a deadly arson that took the lives of a mother and her four children on Staten Island.
But police were uncertain whether one of the children, a 14-year-old boy identified as Raymond Romoy - had killed his family before setting the apartment on fire on Thursday, and then taking his own life as some investigators theorize.
Only a few handwritten words were visible on the remnants of paper stuck to a propane stick lighter used for igniting barbecues, said a police spokesman Friday.
The words "Am Sorry," as well as the single words "you," "me," "that," "at" and "I" were legible, said Paul Browne, a spokesman for the NYPD. Detectives were in the process of treating the paper to see what other evidence they could obtain, he said.
But Browne was quick to note that the discovery of the lighter at the burned-out apartment and the paper didn't necessarily have any connection to the setting of the fire.
"We haven't made any determination that this note has any significance to the crime," said Browne, who also made the same point about the lighter.
The lighter was found by fire marshals in the bedroom of the mother, Leisa Jones, said a law enforcement source.
Jones, 32, was found dead along her children Raymond, Brittney, 10, and Melanie, 7, and Jermaine, 2.
While autopsy results were pending on Jones and Raymond, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner, Melanie and Brittney both died of slash wounds to the neck. Police said Thursday that Raymond had a slash wound to his neck. The 2-year-old wasn't slashed but died of smoke inhalation and burns, officials said.
"We believe it was intentionally set," and FDNY spokesman said of the fire.