Daycare arson suspect may have warned of crime on Facebook

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A 23-year-old woman has been arrested for the fire that destroyed Early Start Academy on Center Ave. near 55th St. in Milwaukee early Wednesday morning, January 22nd.

Police say the woman was formerly employed by the daycare. According to supervisor Dorthea Ford, the suspect was fired earlier this month.

"That's how it all started, over a check that we had once told her we was going to mail it out. She cannot come to the building," said Ford.

Soon after, Ford says messages were posted on the suspect's Facebook page -- even being tagged in one post herself. The post reads "I bet 5509 West Center will be on FOX6."

"She just been harassing me instead of the owner, sending out threats, so that's why we suspected it was her," Ford said. "The owner is concerned about her safety and her kids' safety and she just wants justice."

Early Wednesday morning, the fire destroyed the building and a van belonging to the daycare parked by the building. The incident has made neighbors uneasy.

"I was wondering how does the fire jump from the van to the building and vice-versa," questioned Anthony Hibble.

Parents with children at Early Start Academy are now looking elsewhere for daycare while the staff continues to search for answers.

"They very upset. They asking us what can they do? What should we do?" said Ford. "We don't know what to expect now. If they burn down the daycare, what are they going to do next?"

The woman has not yet been charged in the incident, however police have confirmed she is a former employee of the daycare.

Related Stories: