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Husband of bedridden woman trapped in hoarder housefire charged with murder

Husband accused of intentionally setting blaze

Eights months after a deadly housefire killed his invalid wife and at least a dozen cats, a San Bernardino County, California, man has been charged with murder.

Donald Wayne Jenman, 68, is charged with the murder of his wife Lynda Cestone, 56, eight months after a mysterious fire that prompted an arson investigation. Authorities are now accusing him of setting the blaze that killed his wife and their collection of felines.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Cestone had been confined to her bed since suffering a stroke in 2010. She was found dead in the house on April 19 after neighbors called the fire department to alert them to the possibility of  “elderly residents possibly unable to evacuate from the home,” according to San Bernadino County Fire Department statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Firefighters reportedly found “hoarder conditions” in the Lucerne Valley home, which is believed to have accelerated the spread of the blaze. Jenman was found outside the home and was treated at a nearby burn center. His wife and the cats were all discovered dead in the home after firefighters extinguished the blaze, which caused the house’s roof to partially collapse.

Investigators became suspicious when they discovered a gas line had been disconnected, and called homicide detectives in to help with the investigation.

A motive for the alleged murder is not yet known.