Man Accused of Setting Girlfriend on Fire With Accelerant & Cigarette

Noe Jimenez-Cortes

Broward County Sheriff\'s Office Noe Jimenez-Cortes

Noe Jimenez-Cortes was arrested on Monday night in North Lauderdale, Florida, and accused by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office of purposefully setting his girlfriend on fire, causing burns to over 99% of her body. The victim, who has not been identified, is not expected to survive her injuries, prosecutors said during Jimenez-Cortes’ bond hearing on Tuesday, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

A press release from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office stated that “The preliminary investigation reveals that Jimenez-Cortes poured an accelerant on the victim’s body and ignited the fire with a cigarette.” The sheriff’s office explained that the victim identified the perpetrator to officials responding to the scene and was taken to the hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

Jimenez-Cortes, 40, was denied bond and is being held in the Broward County Jail. He faces charges of attempted murder and arson, according to public inmate records.

A Neighbor Called 911 After Hearing the Victim’s Cries From Her Home

Noe Jimenez-Cortes

Broward County Sheriff’s OfficeNoe Jimenez-Cortes

The incident occurred at the Lauderdale Mobile Home Park near the 4300 block of Northwest 54th Street in North Lauderdale, just after 4:30 a.m. on Monday morning, according to the police’s press release. The Sun-Sentinel said the 911 call came from a neighbor who heard the victim’s cries for help. “A lady is screaming outside her house like crazy. She’s burnt,” the neighbor told the 911 operator, the outlet reported.

The neighbor said he didn’t want to leave his home but could hear the victim saying she couldn’t walk before going quiet. Another neighbor, Jamila Navarrete, spoke to Local 10 News and said she also heard the victim: “All you heard was ‘knock, knock’ through the wall. She probably could have been banging and trying to open the door, as well.” The victim eventually went to another neighbor’s home, where she pleaded for help and for someone to call 911.

Jimenez-Cortes had left the scene before authorities arrived on Monday morning, but he was later found and apprehended, the sheriff’s office stated. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to contact Detective Robert Rausch at 954-321-4234 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 to remain anonymous.

Prosecutors Said the Victim Is in Terrible Condition & Detectives Found That Jimenez-Cortes Bought a Ticket to Mexico

Broward Assistant State Attorney Alix Buckelew told the court during Jimenez-Cortes’ bond hearing on Tuesday that the victim is not expected to survive after suffering grave burns to her body the Sun-Sentinel reported: “I think the court should know that the doctors do not expect this victim to survive her injuries. She was burned on 99% of her body. The only two places on her body that weren’t burned were the soles of her feet and one part of her ankle.”

According to Buckelew, the incident was captured on surveillance footage. Detectives also found that Jimenez-Cortes had bought a bus ticket from South Florida to Mexico, the Sun-Sentinel reported. He was ordered to surrender his passport.

Public inmate records with the Broward County jail also show that Jimenez-Cortes is being held for verification of his immigration status. It’s not yet clear who his attorney will be, how he is pleading, and when his next court date will be.

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