|Police tape marks a scene, June 10, 2012. (Reuters/MAX WHITTAKER)
NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. - An investigation into a fire earlier this year at a home in North Port, Fla., that claimed the lives of a former Niagara Falls woman and her young son has determined the blaze was deliberately set by the mother, police investigators say.
The bodies of Carol Wisdom, 43, and her eight-year-old son, Michael, were discovered inside their small bungalow following an early morning fire on April 3.
The investigation by police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office concluded Carol Wisdom set the fire.
Police had to use dental records to identify both victims because their bodies were so badly burned.
“Michael C. Wisdom’s death is ruled as a homicide. Carol Wisdom is the offender in this case who ignited the fire,” North Port Police Capt. Anthony Sirianni said in a press release.
Investigators said Wisdom put her son in the back seat of the car while it was in the garage, poured gasoline and lit a match. It’s not clear if the boy was already dead or unconscious at the time.
Police also found the child’s wet T-shirt and a bathtub full of water. They speculate he might have drowned, but his body was too burned to make that determination.
Wisdom’s body was found in a kitchen area outside the doorway to the garage, with a can of gasoline and matches. It was determined she died from inhaling flames and smoke.
Following the fire, police questioned Wisdom’s estranged husband, Michael Wisdom, who co-operated with their investigation and was cleared.
North Port is a city along Florida’s gulf coast between Tampa and Fort Myers.
Wisdom, born Carol Lyn Lockhart, grew up in Niagara Falls. She still has family members living in the Niagara area.