A teen, who is obsessed with Slender Man, set fire to her family’s home on Thursday morning. Authorities confirmed the teen’s mother and 9-year-old brother were sleeping when the fire was set. Lily Marie Hartwell, 14, is now facing charges of arson and attempted murder.
During a police interview, Lily admitted that the blaze was carefully planned. Prior to setting the fire, the teen packed a bag with food and supplies. She then soaked a sheet and a towel in bleach and rum. She placed the material in the garage, set it ablaze, and walked to a local park.
Lily’s mother was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm. She located her 9-year-old son in his bedroom. However, Lily was nowhere to be found.
As reported by the New York Post, the mother took her son outside. She then reentered the home to find her daughter. Thankfully, she was forced back outside by the intense heat and heavy smoke.
When firefighters arrived on scene, they continued the search for the missing teen. Risking their lives, they reentered the burning home three times before determining Lily Marie Hartwell was not trapped inside.
Local authorities conducted a “widespread search” throughout the neighborhood. As reported by Tampa Bay News, they were eventually alerted to Lily’s location, and involvement in the fire, through a series of text messages.
Authorities said the teen sent her mother numerous messages, apologizing for setting the fire and asking if anyone was hurt. When Lily was located, she was arrested and charged with one count of arson and two counts of attempted murder.
Through questioning, authorities learned the 14-year-old girl is obsessed with a fictional character called Slender Man. Unfortunately, the fire is not the only crime connected to the creepy legend.
In May, two 12-year-old girls brutally attacked a classmate — stabbing her nearly 20 times. When questioned, both girls admitted a disturbing fascination with Slender Man.
Slender Man was created during a contest, which challenged artists to edit a supernatural entity into a photograph. User “Victor Surge” submitted several photos, which feature a tall, slender, faceless, man. Surge referred to the character as The Slender Man.
According to the original legend, Slender Man manipulates children into committing heinous crimes. The original Slender Man photo included an ominous snippet of text.
“We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time… — 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.”
Although Lily Marie Hartwell was admittedly obsessed with Slender Man, it is unclear why she started the fire. Authorities have not determined if the teen will be charged as an adult.