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Suspect flees the country after settting Herriman house on fire

Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-11 08:39:46-04

HERRIMAN, Utah - New details have emerged about a suspect who is responsible for lighting a house on fire in Herriman. Now fire investigators believe the suspect has fled the country.

The fire started in the early morning hours of July 22 on Quiet Glen Drive.  Fire investigators have said that the home is a total loss.

According to a newly released warrant, the 30-year-old suspect Michel Mateus of Orem made unwanted sexual advances towards the homeowner's son a month before the fire occured.

The interaction happened at the Herriman home inside the theater room. Investigators believe the fire started in the same room, after finding a gas can spout in one of the reclining move theater style chairs.

"There was enough involved with that fire that our investigators deemed that it was suspicious enough to warrant an investigation," Eric Holmes from the Unified Fire Authority said.

When investigators tried to get in contact with the suspect after the fire, they realized he abruptly sold the rental contract at his home in Orem. On August 28, police received information that he was in Orlando, Florida where his sister reportedly lived. Three days later, investigators learned he bought a plane ticket for Brazil and fled the country.

At this point, the investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.