■ Chronicle News Staff
Two women have been identified in an apparent murder-suicide that occurred within a residential fire almost two months ago in Hemet.
On the evening of Saturday, Dec. 29, Hemet Fire responded to the 1600 block of West Johnston Avenue regarding a residential fire. Fire personnel entered the home and located an elderly female who was suffering from significant burns over a majority of her body. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced deceased.
A second female was found already deceased in the residence. At the time, an investigation was put on hold pending notification of kin.
Arson investigators and Hemet Police detectives recently resumed the investigation into the incident. The two deceased women were positively identified as 79 year-old Linda Arnold and 54 year-old Saundra Jay. Arnold was identified as the female who later died at the hospital, while Jay was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the investigation, the fire was intentionally started by Jay. Both appear to have died as a result of the fire. There have been allegations that Jay was Arnold’s caretaker, which may be related to the cause of the supposed murder-suicide. The Hemet Police Department’s investigation is currently closed pending unforeseen or unexpected results of awaiting evidentiary scientific analysis.
Anyone with information regarding this incident can contact Hemet Police Investigator Klinzing at (951) 765-2423.
For the Hemet Police Anonymous Tip Line call (951) 765-3897 or for another anonymous tip line call (866) 640-8477. For online tips, visit www.crimestoppersplus.org or the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ValleyCrimeStoppersPlus