Firefighters and police responding to a fire at an apartment building early Friday morning discovered the dead body of 24-year-old Michael Gonzales in one of the apartments.
His girlfriend, Gina Virgilio, initially told investigators that Gonzales had been drinking while celebrating his birthday when he started spitting gasoline from a cup on the floor and couch. When he lit a piece of paper, she says she ran out of the apartment. She said she heard glass break behind her, but never looked back.
After she left, she borrowed a cellphone to call her mother. She told her Gonzales had been abusive and was spitting gasoline at her while also using an aerosol can as a flamethrower. She said a fire broke out and that she had left the apartment. Virgilio was interviewed by police later that morning and then released that evening.
Her mother demanded to know what really happened when she returned from the interview and Virgilio did. She told her mother she purchased gasoline from a nearby gas station then returned home to find Gonzales asleep on the couch. She said she sat next to him for a while, looking at him, before she poured the gas on and around the couch. As she she stood near the front door, she lit a piece of paper on fire and tossed it into the apartment, setting it ablaze.
She stated Gonzales woke up and shouted ”Hot! Hot!” before she closed the door and ran.
Virgilio was was arrested on Saturday on charges of murder, arson, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and assault. Her mother said her daughter was a meth-head and heroin addict. Thankfully, Virgilio’s mother also said she has custody of her daughter’s young child.
The fire completely destroyed the couple’s apartment and forced the evacuation of 18 other apartments. Some residents were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.Tags: Alaska, Crime, domestic abuse, fire, Gina Virgilio, Murder