Assumptions with Partial Facts

Today, it was announced that a fire that killed one man was intentionally set. He had gone into the house to try to get his 16 year old step-daughter out. She was hospitalized, but he died.

In the news stories floating around, it is mentioned that a 16 year old girl is being questioned. Because she’s a juvenile, they are not releasing her name. While it’s easy to assume the 16 year old being questioned is the step-daughter, it’s just that, an assumption. The radio went so far as to report that it was the girl, with comments like, “Since she was the only 16 year old female in the home…” and other various words.

No matter who the girl is, the story is sad. Nothing will bring Jeffrey Sullivan back. If it was the step-daughter, I can’t imagine the pain the family is going through right now. I can’t fathom trying to wrap my head around a child setting fire to their family’s home, luckily I don’t have to. If it was her, was she trying to hurt her family? Was this an attention grabbing idea that backfired on her? Why? And if it was her, she will have to deal with the guilt of killing her mother’s husband for as long as she lives.

I hope this story will have a better outcome than it seems it is going to. And until the facts are known, I really hope the news outlets will be a bit more professional. This could have the potential to get someone in big trouble if it should turn out to be someone other than the step-daughter.

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