Fire accelerant found on 2 home invasion victims

September 24, 2010 3:53:06 PM PDT
A fire investigator says two girls were doused with flammable liquid in their bedrooms before they died with their mother in a Connecticut home invasion.

Paul Makuc testified Friday at the New Haven trial of Steven Hayes, one of two men charged with capital felony murder, sexual assault and other crimes in the 2007 deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela. The girls died of smoke inhalation. Their mother was strangled.

Prosecutors say Hayes and a co-defendant still awaiting trial tied the girls to their beds and poured gasoline on them before burning the house.

Macuk described traces of accelerant around Michaela's bed and on her body. He said a similar pattern was found in Hayley's room.

A partly melted plastic container was found under Hayley's body in a hallway where she fled.