WEST VALLEY CITY — A woman accused of killing her mother by setting her house on fire has been charged with aggravated murder.
Loralie Kathie Querbach, 46, of West Valley City, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with the first-degree felony in addition to aggravated arson, also a first-degree felony.
On June 5, Kathie Thomas, 64, died in an early morning fire at her home, 6946 W. Bonnie Arlene Drive (3710 South). She called 911 to say she was trapped in her bedroom, according to charging documents. Five other occupants were able to make it out safely.
Investigators determined the fire started "in the hallway of the main floor, at the base of the door to Ms. Thomas' bedroom," the charges state.
Querbach, who was standing outside the house holding a bag that contained framed pictures and other personal items, told the first arriving officers, "I confess," according to charging documents. Investigators determined she put crumbled paper in front of the door, lit a pair of pants on fire and then threw it on top of the paper, according to the charges. Querbach did not try to alert anyone in the house to the fire, the charges state.
Another occupant who tried to throw buckets of water on the fire told authorities that he found Querbach in the kitchen and she appeared to be giggling, the charges state. That occupant said Thomas and Querbach had been in an argument a week earlier and Querbach had threatened to burn the house down, according to court documents.
The intense flames prevented anyone from entering or exiting the room and the windows to the bedroom were locked, the charges state.
Querbach has been charged many others times, according to court records, mainly on theft, drug and domestic violence-related charges, including a prior domestic violence case involving her mother, court records state.
Prosecutors have requested Querbach be held without bail.