DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police say a man videotaped buying gasoline is a “person of interest” in the torching of a home where the charred remains of a strangled child were found.

WWJ’s Marie Osborne is reporting that police say the videotape shows the man made a purchase before 8:00 Sunday morning at a station located at the intersection of Dexter and Davison on the city’s west side. Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying him. He’s described as black and about 5-foot-9-inches tall, with short hair.

Authorities have taken DNA samples that are expected to show if the remains are those of 5-year-old Mariha Trenice.

Mariha’s mother, Konesha Smith, has told police she last saw her daughter about 3:30 Sunday morning asleep at home, and awoke about noon to find her gone.

Police haven’t formally linked the death and the missing child cases.

Comments (3)
  1. Sally says:

    How about the best picture of the man from the security tape instead of picture of this angel child who is not even positively identified as the dead child. A verbal description “black and about 5-foot-9-inches tall, with short hair.” doesn’t help as many men in Detroit would fit that description. I’m sure the police would cooperate in releasing a photo rather than starting to interview all the black and about 5-foot-9-inches tall, with short hair men they come across.

  2. mom2boys says:

    Have to agree that presuming to place this child’s picture instead of the possible perp’s picture is going too far. Not very responsible. Smacks of tabloid journalism.

  3. Harry says:

    Is it legal to sell 41 cents of gasoline? What container did he have?

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