A 14-year-old girl was arrested after allegedly setting her family’s house on fire in what authorities suspect is the latest case of Slender Man-inspired violence.
The suspect was arrested early Thursday after, police said, she soaked a towel and bed sheet in bleach and rum and lit it on fire in the garage of her Port Richey, Florida, home. As flames spread, she fled to a nearby park and slept in a bathroom, according to a Pasco Sheriff’s Office police report.
The state attorney's office has not yet decided whether to charge the girl as an adult, so ABC News is withholding her name.
The teen's mother and her 9-year-old brother escaped the fire unharmed. At one point, the mom ran back inside the house to look for her daughter, but couldn't find her. The home was destroyed.
Police found the suspect shortly afterwards at the park, where she told a detective she was reading an e-book called “Soul Eater.”
“There’s a part in this book where two characters get into a fight with each other,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a news conference on Thursday. “All of a sudden, that clicked something in her mind and she decided she was going to kill her family.”
The teen also told police she had been reading about Slender Man, the online character who allegedly motivated two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls to stab their friend 19 times in May.
“She had visited the website that contains a lot of the Slender Man information and stories,” Eddie Daniels of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office told ABC News. “It would be safe to say there is a connection to that.”
After the fire and while police were searching for the suspect, the girl texted her mother to apologize, saying, “Mom Im so sorry I dont know why I did it,” and, “Did any of u get hurt,” according to the police report.
She had a bag containing bottled water, cookies, knives, lighters and flashlights. Police also found a journal in which the teen allegedly wrote about “killing” and said, “If this keeps up there will be no safty in this house,” the report said.
She remained in police custody and was charged with attempted murder. Her mother could not be reached for comment. Police did not know if the suspect had an attorney.