Police: MD man set fire to cover up mother's murder

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- What appeared to be a tragic accidental house fire that claimed the life of a Rockville woman has now been revealed to be an attempt to cover up her murder.

The dramatic chain of events began when Montgomery County Fire/Rescue units responded to a house fire at 4610 Iris Street around 4:30 Thursday morning. Once on scene firefighters rescued 82-year-old Somaya Haleem from a second-story window. She was taken to a local trauma center in critical condition and was later pronounced dead. Police say an examination of the victim's body revealed she had been stabbed.

Montgomery County Police Major Crimes detectives interviewed Somaya Haleem's 57-year-old son who had escaped the fire without injury. Police say Hani Haleem admitted to stabbing his mother multiple times during the questioning. Investigators believe he then set fire to the home.

Somaya Haleem's body has been sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. The findings of the autopsy are pending.

Police have charged Hani Haleem with first-degree murder. He is being held without bond. Haleem will appear at a bond hearing in Rockville Friday at 1:00 p.m.

See our original coverage of the fire HERE: http://on.wusa9.com/1ps5PiJ


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