Dallas police say a woman found dead in her burning apartment in North Dallas was murdered with the killer likely setting the fire to destroy evidence.
The body of Maria Arteaga, 53, was found inside her Northwood Hill apartment around 1:30 p.m. Friday.
A neighbor's cell phone video captured the moment Dallas firefighters arrived at the scene. It shows firefighters making entry into the second-floor unit within a couple of minutes.
However, a Dallas Fire Rescue spokesman says thick black smoke prevented fire fighters from discovering Arteaga's body until 30 minutes later when the fire was out. By that time, several relatives had rushed to the scene and learned the devastating news.
Arteaga’s granddaughter Jackie Romero says her mother called to tell her about the fire. When she arrived, she found family members crying.
"Under any circumstances, you hate to see someone die in a fire,” said Jason Evans with the Dallas Fire Department. “But this weekend in particular, it hates a lot of people hard with it being Mother's Day coming up.”
“I was just going crazy,” said Arteaga’s granddaughter Jackie Romero. “I couldn't stop crying. My little sister is going crazy. She wanted to go running up inside the room to see.”
The family says Arteaga lived in the apartment with her daughter, son-in-law, and their three kids. She had 7 kids and 21 grandkids.
Police have not elaborated on how Arteaga was murdered. They said she died as a result of “homicidal violence.”
The investigation is ongoing.