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Woman Suspected of Setting Fire to Apartment Charged with Attempted Murder

Cynthia Misquez Perez, 47, of the 1000 block of Pueblo Street, is charged with one second-degree felony count of depraved mind attempted first-degree murder and one count of arson.

Las Cruces police investigators learned Perez and her boyfriend, the 35-year-old man who resides in the small apartment at 317 E. Lucero Ave., got into an argument that turned physical about 11 p.m. Thursday, March 7.

Investigators learned that during the physical confrontation, Perez struck her boyfriend over the head with a frying pan. The strike briefly knocked the man unconscious. When the man regained consciousness, a portion of his apartment was on fire. Investigators learned the man extinguished the relatively small fire and the couple presumably called a truce before going to bed.

A few hours later, about 2:40 a.m. on Friday, March 8, police and firefighters were dispatched to a fire at the apartment. Police located the 35-year-old tenant outside the residence and suffering from multiple injuries including two black eyes, bite marks on his back, scratch marks, and bruising to his head and knees. It was also determined he suffered from smoke inhalation. He was transported to Memorial Medical Center and has since been discharged.

Investigators determined Perez set fire to the apartment sometime after midnight before leaving her boyfriend alone in the small apartment. Fire investigators discovered remnants of charred paper, pillow and feathers on top of the stove where the fire is believed to have originated.

Firefighters contained the blaze to the man’s apartment – in the center of a small three-apartment complex – and cleared the two adjacent units. No other injuries were reported. The center apartment sustained heavy damage as a result of the fire, and the two adjacent units were damaged by smoke and water. The American Red Cross was called to help other tenants in the small apartment complex.

Investigators obtained a warrant for the arrest of Perez and she was detained March 25. Perez will initially be held without bond at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.