Freeport man arrested in deadly fire that killed wife

September 4, 2012 3:15:38 PM PDT
A Long Island man is facing murder charges in a suspicious fire that killed a woman, believed to be his 22-year-old wife.

The fire broke out at a home on Craig Avenue in Freeport around 6 a.m. Monday. The woman was found near the front area of the house after the blaze was extinguished.

The man believed to be the husband of the victim, 49-year-old Loventino Cassadean, was taken into custody after he flagged down an officer on North Long Beach Road.

While the woman's identity has not been released, neighbors say she was his wife and the mother of two children. They described her as a hard-working woman.

"She was nice, you know, trying to go to school, raising up two kids there," friend Elaine McArthur said. "Always loved friends and family, tried to help out other people."

Investigators said the victim was stabbed and then the bed was set on fire using accelerant, likely gasoline. Police do not know if she was already dead when fire was set or how much time passed between the stabbing and fire.

Officials said the victim had a 5-year-old child from a previous relationship and a 2-year-old fathered by the suspect.

Cassadean had prior arrest for sexual assault in Nassau County in April. Police believe he and victim had an ongoing dispute because of that charge.

Cassadean is charged with second-degree murder. Charges in this case could be upgraded as investigation continues, officials said.

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