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Second Parent Dies From Fire Reportedly Set By Developmentally-Disabled Daughter

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

RIVERSIDE (CBS) —  A second parent has died as the result of a fire officials in Riverside say was set by the couple’s developmentally-disabled daughter.

Linda Clark, 73, died Friday morning from injuries suffered in the April 20 fire at the home she shared with her husband, Harley R. Clark, who died in the blaze.

Daughter, Deborah Marie Clark, 46, was arrested after returning to the residence, according to Riverside police Sgt. Dan Russell.

The daughter has been described as an innocent victim by her brothers. But arson investigators claim she deliberately lit the fire in her parents’ house in the 6200 block of Sheridan Court shortly before 4 a.m. April 20.

Firefighters responding to the blaze found the elderly parents in separate rooms, both in full cardiac arrest. Deborah Clark was nowhere on the premises, police said.

Harley Clark was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later. Their home was significantly damaged, but not destroyed, according to fire officials.

A district attorney’s office spokesman said that the case would be reviewed and an appropriate decision on amending the charges would be made at a later date.

Along with the murder charge, the defendant now faces one count each of arson and elder abuse resulting in great bodily injury. She was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

Harley Clark was a retired aerospace engineer. The couple leave behind eight children, including the defendant, according to published reports.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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