PHOENIX - A man has been arrested after a woman's body was found set on fire in a north Phoenix apartment Wednesday.
Dwandarrius J. Robinson, 21, is facing two counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping and arson of an occupied structure.
On Thursday, Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump identified the victim as 21-year-old Shaniqua Hall.
Hall was pregnant and Crump said family members told police she was due to give birth in a matter of weeks.
Crump said Robinson was the father of the unborn child and a 2-year-old child with Hall.
Crump said police and firefighters responded to a fire call around 4:30 p.m. at an apartment complex near Bell Road and 14th Street.
Crews found a small fire and quickly put it out. Hall's body was found in a bedroom of the apartment.
The victim had been handcuffed and duct-taped and an accelerant poured over her.
"It appears to be a very brutal homicide scene," Crump said. "This is a scene in which the victim was duct taped, the victim was bound, and appears the victim is what was set on fire in this case."
Crump said Johnson was interviewed and denied involvement in the murder, but that detectives learned he had purchased duct tape and lighter fluid just a few hours before Hall's body was found. He also had a handcuff key with him.
Crump said Robinson was a security guard and owned two pairs of handcuffs.
Robinson reportedly told police he went to run errands with the 2-year-old and when he returned discovered the fire. He said he went to sit in his car to wait for authorities rather than risk himself or the child.
Crump said family member told investigators there were money and relationship problems between Robinson and Hall.
"He looked ... evil," recalled friend and neighbor Eloise Tolley.
Eloise and her husband Robert had befriended the young couple when they moved into the apartment complex months ago.
"They would just come over and hang out," said Eloise.
But the day before the murder, the Tolleys had an uneasy feeling.
"You could just feel the tension in the air between the two of them," said Eloise. She said Robinson seemed distracted and Hall was upset that a former girlfriend was calling him.
The Tolleys also said the two were at odds over what to name their unborn child.
On the day of the murder Robert said Hall came by with the couple's toddler daughter nicknamed "Maya" looking for Eloise. A short time later, Robinson stopped in with Maya.
At the time, Robert said he didn't find anything strange about the visit, and that Robinson was quite calm.
"All I think about is that he had to go home and do that, then come back here and hang out with me, after he done that," said Robert.
The next time Robert saw Robinson was when police escorted him to the Tolley's apartment so that Maya could use the restroom.
"He just looked at me and said we would talk later, like nothing had happened," said Robert.
The toddler is now with Hall's family.
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