Local News

Deaths in Burned Raleigh Apartment Ruled Double Murder, Suicide

Posted March 27, 2007 9:27 p.m. EDT
Updated March 27, 2007 9:39 p.m. EDT

— An apartment fire after which a woman, her 11-month-old daughter and a man were found dead on a day that saw every piece of Raleigh fire equipment battling blazes was a double homicide and a suicide, Raleigh police said Tuesday evening.

"All the facts and evidence obtained to date indicate that Rosa Elena Carranza-Morales, 26, and Dayna Sofia Elamrani-Carranza, 11 months, were murdered and that they were killed by Noureddine Elamrani, 30, who subsequently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," police spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a statement.

Investigators believe Elamrani set the Feb. 22 fire in the apartment in the Pines of Ashton complex on Roselle Court before killing himself, Sughrue said. Firefighters found the three bodies as they moved into the apartment to battle the blaze.

The fire broke out at the same time that most Raleigh fire units were fighting a raging fire in a townhouse complex in north Raleigh on a day when tinder-dry conditions let blazes in Raleigh and elsewhere spread rapidly and challenged firefighters throughout the region.

Sughrue said police were awaiting final results from autopsies carried out by the state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, but preliminary results released earlier this month showed Carranza-Morales had been stabbed once in the chest, damaging her aorta, one lung and liver. She was dead before the fire began, the investigation determined.

Fire investigators found traces of accelerant at the scene, telling them the fire probably had been set.

Carranza-Morales had taken out a restraining order against Elamrani nine days before the fire, according to court records. She said in her filing that Elamrani beat her and she feared he would kill her.

The fire left 17 other people homeless. A 4-year-old girl who lived at the apartment with the victims was away at the time and was found safe with relatives.