Florida Teen Who Visited Slender Man Sites Sets House on Fire with Family Inside


Image via WTSP

A Florida teenager set fire to her home with her family inside yesterday, authorities say. 

According to WTSP, 14-year-old Lily Marie Hartwell set the Port Richey, Fla. home ablaze while her mother and 9-year-old brother slept yesterday morning. Both managed to escape, but when emergency responders arrived, Hartwell was missing. During a search, she began sending her mother texts apologizing for her actions. 

Hartwell was eventually found hours later at a park in the area, reportedly carrying a bag which contained "clothes, bottled water, cookies, knives, lighters and flashlights." During questioning, Hartwell told authorities that she had taken to visiting the SoulEater website, which triggered unsettled feelings about bullying and disciplinary action her mother had taken against her. 

Police found one of Hartwell's journals, which contained entries that detailed her disturbing frustration. "If this keeps up there will be no one safe in this house," she wrote in one entry. Another contained a preemptive apology for her actions: "Mom if you ever find this before it happens Im sorry..."

While acknowledging that sites like SoulEater and Creepy Pasta are associated with the fictional Slender Man character who was at the center of the Wisconsin stabbing earlier this year, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco noted that they probably did not prompt the teen to set her home on fire. 

Hartwell faces charges for arson and attempted murder.

[via WTSP and Tampa Bay Times]

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