Slipped Out Saturday Before Warrant Was Issued.
JESSICA TATA, THE OPERATOR of the day care facility that burned on Thursday, killing four children under the age of three, has fled the country, according to the Houston Fire Department.
Tata (Houston Chronicle)
The Harris County District Attorney’s office asked for a felony warrant against her on Sunday afternoon and it was issued by a magistrate judge. But by then she had disappeared. The Houston FD Arson office says that she went to Dallas on Saturday and caught a flight from there to Amsterdam where she took another plane to Nigeria.
The HFD did not say how they knew her whereabouts, but it is known that her parents were born there. Reportedly the HFD has asked the U. S. Marshal office to intervene and have her extradited back to Texas.
KTRK-TV has this late-breaking video report that attempts to define the tortuous process that the arson squad went through to get the warrant while she was “going on the lamb”:
KHOU-TV has another video and more details on this latest twist HERE.
The arson office also said that Tata left the house to go shopping and left a burner on that had a pot of cooking oil on it. It is believed to be the cause of the fire. The woman’s family is protesting and saying that she never left the house, but the investigators have a surveillance tape from a grocery store showing her buying groceries at that time. The also found groceries in her car and on the ground by the door where she was suprised by the smoke.
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Terri Langford provides more details in Investigation into day care deaths criticized in the March 1st Houston Chronicle (HERE)
(2 witnesses and videotape of Tata at the store before the fire)
But the DA’s office told HFD that only proved that Tata was not at home. Investigators were told on Friday to contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to make sure Tata was the sole proprietor and did not have any other staff who could have been in the house at the time.
When they did and returned Friday afternoon, they were told again by the DA’s office that they didn’t have enough evidence.
Then HFD informed prosecutors they had a tip Tata was preparing to leave the United States.
Arson investigators went back and conducted more interviews and returned on Saturday. Again they were told there was not enough proof that another adult was not in the house at the time.
So they went out again on Sunday
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