Woman set afire in elevator of her NYC building
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Last Updated: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 14:41
New York: A 64-year-old woman was burned alive when a man ambushed her in her building's elevator, doused her with a flammable liquid and then set her on fire with a Molotov cocktail in New York.

Delores Gillespie, a Brooklyn resident, was returning home carrying grocery bags last afternoon.

As the elevator doors opened to her fifth floor of the building, the man barged into the elevator and sprayed her face and body with the accelerant.

Footage from surveillance cameras shows the man, in his 40s, dressed as an exterminator, wearing gloves and a protective mask atop his head.

He is seen carrying a container on his back.

As Gillespie was cornered by her assailant, she tried to turn away from her attacker, crouched down and covered her face with her hands.

But the man managed to spray her face and torso methodically with the flammable liquid, New York police department spokesperson Paul Browne said.

The man then lit a Molotov cocktail, which is a wine or Champagne bottle filled with accelerant with a piece of cloth stuffed in its neck.

He waited for a few seconds and then set the woman on fire.

"She goes up in flames and falls to the floor," Browne said.

The cameras show that he repeatedly sprayed Gillespie's burning body with the liquid before running away.

Gillespie was pronounced dead at the scene. Five other tenants suffered minor injuries. The police have launched a manhunt for her killer.

The New York Daily News said the man had lived with the woman until recently and was often seen collecting bottles and cans outside the building.

Police are also looking for the man in local hospitals as he appeared to have received injuries as he lit the woman on fire.


First Published: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 14:41

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