Bizarre Crime Leaves Orange County Deputies Searching for Clues
Posted March 22, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
HILLSBOROUGH — Orange County deputies are investigating a bizarre murder. Police say a woman wrapped her boyfriend in blankets and set him on fire in broad daylight.
Neighbors say they saw smoke coming from the couple's backyard Monday night, but no one knew what was happening, until it was too late.
"Everything seemed normal," says neighbor Tim Ashley. "We just thought they were out there having a barbecue."
It was dinnertime when neighbors say they saw smoke, and Amanda Marrine standing on the back deck of her house.
"My wife came in about 6:30 p.m. and saw the smoke, and saw her on the deck walking around with the telephone," Ashley said.
But the flames that scorched the ground came from the body of 29-year-old Ashley Lane, who was wrapped in blankets and set on fire in his own backyard.
Investigators say Marrine took Lane's red BMW and left before they arrived on the scene. A few hours later, Cary police found the car at the Fairfield Inn. They also found Marrine unconscious in one of the rooms after trying to commit suicide.
Friends and family went to the scene of the heinous crime Tuesday night. Barry Crabtree was Lane's best friend, and he was not surprised that Lane's live-in girlfriend will be charged with murder.
"She was crazy," Crabtree said. "I knew it before they got together. I thought she just had mental problems."
Marrine, is in guarded condition at Western WakeMed. She is expected to be charged with murder when her condition improves.
Police have not released specific details concerning the cause of death, but they did say there was blood on the back door.