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Arson suspect arrested in fire at Redwood City church

in Community/Crime

A 58-year-old woman was arrested on arson charges in connection to a fire at a Redwood City church last week.

Maria Elena Zurita, 58, was reportedly identified on video surveillance in the area as the suspect in the fire that occurred at Rise City Church, 1305 Middlefield Rd. about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, according to the Redwood City Police Department.

Officers responding to the church discovered a planter box on fire and said the fire was beginning to spread to the front entrance of the building. Redwood City firefighters responded and extinguished the fire. The building sustained water damage from the sprinkler and smoke damage, police said.

Zurita was arrested Tuesday, May 4, in connection with the fire. At the time of her arrest, she possessed a black-and-white backpack and was wearing a red scarf as a headband. The suspect in the video surveillance footage had both of those items, police said.

“Zurita admitted to her involvement in the origin of the fire to detectives, and was subsequently arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail for arson,” police said.

A motive wasn’t immediately clear.

Anyone that may have additional information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Redwood City Police Detective David Denning at 650-780-7141 or the Redwood City Police Department’s Tip Line at 650-780-7110.

Photo credited to Redwood City Police Department