Florida police are on the lookout for 32-year-old Noel Grullon, also known as Noel Castro, after he allegedly lit his pregnant girlfriend on fire. The horrific incident reportedly took place in the midst of an argument about cigarettes, and in the presence of the 27-year-old victim’s two young children from a previous relationship. According to police, the children are a 1-year-old and 4-year-old.
As CBS News reports, Noel Grullon allegedly doused his pregnant girlfriend with gasoline before lighting her on fire early Thursday morning. Florida police claim that the victim suffered significant injuries in the attack, including second-degree burns to her upper body.
After allegedly lighting the pregnant woman on fire in a rage, Grullon is said to have left the scene of the unthinkable attack in his 2007 Ford pickup.
NBC News reports that late on Wednesday night, Noel Grullon and his girlfriend had been arguing and even broke up inside their shared Florida home. The fight continued until about 5 a.m. Thursday, when the girlfriend is said to have gone outside to “cool off.” When she returned to the inside of the home, the domestic dispute allegedly escalated into physical violence when Grullon doused her with gasoline and ignited her upper torso. The victim is reportedly in the early stages of her pregnancy with Noel Grullon’s child, and sought medical care after the alleged attack.
When Florida police became involved, the victim was reportedly unwilling to tell authorities how she had been injured. Instead, she told them that she had been burned in a “barbecuing accident.” Sgt. Carl Zogby, of the Hialeah police, told the local media that it took hours, nearly all day, for the victim to implicate Noel Grullon as her attacker and to admit that her injuries had been deliberately inflicted.
“It took most of the day for her to finally admit to a social worker what had really happened to her. At first she was saying it was a barbecuing accident.”
Medical authorities treating the victim believe that both she and her unborn child will ultimately be physically okay after Noel Grullon’s vicious attack. The 27-year-old was still hospitalized as of Friday evening.
Investigators haven’t seen or heard from Grullon since he fled the scene of the crime early Thursday, but are confident that they will be able to locate him before he can do more damage. According to Florida authorities, their suspect has little money and even fewer places to hide long-term.
Noel Grullon and his victim had reportedly been dating for only about six months prior to Thursday’s alleged instance of domestic violence. It is currently unknown if any previous abuse took place within the relationship, but Grullon has a lengthy and violent criminal history that includes charges of grand theft, burglary, aggravated burglary, armed robbery, armed carjacking, and even kidnapping.
Grullon has only been a free man for eight months. Prior to meeting his current girlfriend and alleged domestic violence victim, the Florida man had served 12 years on carjacking and robbery charges.
In addition to actively searching for Noel Grullon in connection with reportedly lighting his pregnant girlfriend on fire, the Florida Department of Children and Families have also opened a child protective investigation for the incident, as it allegedly took place in the presence of two young children.
Anyone with any information about the case, particularly the whereabouts of Florida man Noel Grullon, is asked to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
[Featured Image by Hialeah Police Department]