LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The hunt is on for a man accused of dousing a mother of seven in gasoline before setting her on fire in South Los Angeles.
Tabitha Morton remains in critical condition at a hospital with extensive burns following the attack, which unfolded June 12th in an alley in the 500 block of E. Vernon Avenue.
“This occurred in broad daylight in front of witnesses and she was critically injured while he simply walked away,” said Capt. Daniel Curry of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Investigators say Morton got into a fight with the suspect before he went to a nearby convenience story to buy the gasoline.
“You never know what somebody is capable of. Look what he’s done,” she said.
Morton’s family posted photographs of the 47-year-old, who is on life support.
Workers at an El Pollo Loco location said she worked for what little money she had, often coming there to clean.
“She always had this smile on her face, you know? Speaking to everybody, you know,” said one man.
Investigators say it’s unclear how Morton knew the suspect, who they described as a dangerous, cold-blooded criminal. He was caught on camera grinning moments before the attack.
“To methodically just douse her with gasoline and light her on fire, that’s as shocking as you can get,” Curry said.
Investigators say they want to put a name with the suspect’s face and are asking anyone with information to give them a call.
Meanwhile, Morton remains in critical condition, and her family has set-up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical care.