An Española man has been arrested on charges of arson and extreme cruelty to an animal in relation to a June 19 house fire.
Andrew Trujillo, 39, called his ex-girlfriend Marianne Griego the morning of the fire to tell her he had started it, according to Griego. She was in Arizona at the time and upon returning, she found the house she was renting to be destroyed along with the vast majority of her belongings. Her beloved black house cat, Misty, had also perished.
While fire investigators initially believed the fire had started accidentally from an air conditioner falling on a mattress, Griego pushed for a deeper look based on what she had heard from Trujillo.
The affidavit behind Trujillo’s arrest warrant contained details of phone messages he left her the morning of the crime. “Everything that you literally care about in that house is gone,” he said. “Let me teach you what it is to be evil, evil as f---.”
Investigators found remains of Griego’s burned undergarments on the floor of a second bedroom, indicating two fires of unconnected cause and providing the needed evidence of arson. A later conversation with Trujillo indicated his wanton disregard for the cat’s life.
A warrant was filed for his arrest on Sept. 10 and he was arrested in Pojoaque on Sept. 16.
He was released under electronic monitoring on Sept. 22. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 14.