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Hani Haleem is charged with murdering his mother. / Montgomery County Police Department

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- What appeared to be a tragic accidental house fire that claimed the life of an elderly woman might actually have been an attempt to cover up her murder.

The dramatic chain of events began when Montgomery County Fire/Rescue units responded to a house fire in Rockville around 4:30 a.m. Thursday. 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 Hani Haleem, who had escaped the fire without injury. Police say Hani Haleem admitted to stabbing his mother multiple times. 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.

Police have charged Hani Haleem with first-degree murder. He is being held without bond.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Police: Man set fire to cover up mother's murder

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