A Winchester grand jury indicted Sherry Lee Cruz, 34, of Middleburg Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge and an arson charge. Cruz is charged with setting a fire on June 18th that claimed the life of two year-old Christian Cruz. The fire happened at 300 North Kent Street in Winchester.
A joint investigation by the Winchester Police Department and Winchester Fire and Rescue Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire originated in the living room. Investigators detected a strong odor of flammable liquid in this area of the house. Samples were taken from this area and sent for analysis and the liquid was determined to be gasoline.
Sherry Cruz was the only adult home at the time of the fire. As a result of intensive investigative work by the Winchester Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Winchester Fire Marshal’s Office, and other agencies, investigators were able to determine that Sherry Cruz started the fire that placed all of her children in danger and claimed the life of Christian Cruz.
Sherry Cruz was arrested on September 6th and charged with four counts of felony child neglect relating to the fire.
She is being held in the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.
A conviction for first-degree murder carries a sentence of up to life in prison.