STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Police have discovered a badly charred note with the words “am sorry” in the torched Port Richmond apartment where a family of five was found dead.
The note found today at the 302 Nicholas Ave. home had only word fragments that were legible. Police said its significance was unclear.
Police believe 14-year-old C.J. Jones slit the throats of his sisters, 7-year-old Melonie and 10-year-old Brittney, torched his family’s apartment on the second floor of 302 Nicholas Ave., then ran a razor across his own throat.
The blaze raced through the apartment, burning up C.J., his sisters, his 2-year-old brother, Jermaine, and his 32-year-old mother, Leisa Jones, and sent 12 other tenants of the apartment buildings fleeing for their lives just after 4 a.m.
In the early hours after the blaze, police and fire officials were reluctant to publicly call the blaze suspicious, backing away from an initial report that it had been started by some type of accelerant.
But not long after investigators began to closely examine the charred remains of the family from the house, a different, even more chilling picture began to emerge.
C.J., it turned out, had a history of setting fires, according to cops. Neighbors told investigators he had been lighting paper ablaze outside his apartment in recent days, and had been kicked out of Faber Pool in Port Richmond Wednesday for starting a fire on the grounds there.
C.J. reportedly had been suspended from Laurie Intermediate School for assaulting an assistant principal earlier this year. He had also been attending summer school there.
Autopsy results were pending today.
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Children and Violence