A 13-year-old girl died after her house was set on fire and now Phoenix police say a teenager murdered her.
That fire was started on Thursday near 10th Street and Pierson. Firefighters found Briana Naylor inside in cardiac arrest.
A 19-year-old named Tashawn Treyvon Cheatham has been charged with Briana's murder. He was arrested around 3 p.m. Saturday. Police say he's an acquaintance of the family and that he killed Briana and then set her house on fire.
Authorities say Cheatham had set numerous fires throughout the home and it was all to cover up the Briana's murder.
She was found inside her bedroom, unresponsive, with burns on her body.
Her family is just heartbroken over her death.
"Unbelievable how can people do this..sad..very young girl, had a whole life ahead of her," said Evelyn Hinton, Briana's great aunt.
Police say Briana had fought with her mother early Thursday morning. The mother reported her as a runaway, but she returned home a short time later while detectives were still there.
Investigators say Cheatham was also at the home that morning and Briana's mother asked him to leave because she was going to work.
"..the mother actually told him, look, you need to leave..she has to get to work, she has other kids to get to school..she thought that that would be taken care of ,but in reality, that did not happen," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.
Police say they aren't sure why Cheatham killed the 13-year-old and they aren't releasing exactly how she died.
The fire started just before 10 a.m. and neighbors reported seeing smoke billowing from the attic.
On Thursday night, Briana's relatives held a prayer service for her. Hinton says Briana didn't deserve this.
"She was a very young, bright girl..we're sad to see this. Sad it happened."
Cheatham faces first degree murder, arson and theft charges. Police say he also stole the family dog and sold it. He remains behind bars at the 4th Avenue jail. It was not clear whether Cheatham had a lawyer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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