Woman Charged in Fatal Texas Fire Turns Self In

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

DALLAS (AP) - A woman accused of fleeing the U.S. after a fire at her Texas day care center killed four children has turned herself in to authorities in Nigeria, her brother said Saturday.

Ron Tata told The Associated Press that relatives in Nigeria informed him early Saturday that Jessica Tata went to the U.S. consulate because "it would be the right thing to do."

U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Jeff Carter said the 22-year-old woman wasn't in the agency's custody. E-mails sent to the U.S. consulate in Nigeria weren't immediately returned.

Authorities believe Jessica Tata fled to Nigeria two days after a fire erupted Feb. 24 at her home day care center in Houston. Four children were killed and three were injured.

Tata has been charged with manslaughter, injury to a child and child abandonment amid accusations that she left the youngsters alone while she shopped at a nearby store. Authorities believe the fire was ignited by a stove top burner that had been left on.

Fire investigators have said they received a tip that she had relatives in Nigeria and might flee.

The U.S. Marshals Service, which was leading the search for Tata, had put the woman on its list of the 15 most wanted fugitives and offered a reward of up to $25,000. Interpol, the international police agency, alerted its member countries, including Nigeria, that she was being sought by the U.S.

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