New details emerge in Grandview arson that killed woman, 14-month-old girl

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- Police have released court documents that provide a Grandview man's account of the deadly fire that killed 37-year-old Anika Hobley and 14-month-old Se'Asia Elijah, who was unrelated to Hobley.

Police and firefighters were called to the home, located in the 12000 block of Belmont Avenue, around 2:45 a.m. on Sept. 29. When they arrived, they discovered Se'Asia's father, 33-year-old Stephen Elijah, outside, naked. He had severe burns to his back and arms.

Anika Hobley

Anika Hobley

Firefighters observed 14-month-old Se'Asia on the back deck. She appeared to have significant burns. She later died of her injuries. Court documents indicate that multiple containers that "commonly hold gasoline" were also observed on the back deck.

Inside the home -- in the basement -- firefighters discovered Hobley, who was dressed only from the waist up.

Elijah told police Hobley was at the home to babysit while he went out for milk. Hobley's adult daughter, Kiana Hobley, told FOX 4's Robert Townsend she doesn't know why her mother would be at Elijah's home. Kiana said she last saw her mom the Sunday evening before the fire at their home in Kansas City. Kiana says while she slept, someone apparently came by and picked up her mother.

"She was at home Sunday asleep," Kiana said. "I don't understand why she got up and left."

The next day police told Kiana her mom was found dead in the basement of the Grandview home.

Court documents indicate Elijah said the fire started in the home's fire place. Elijah told investigators he attempted to start a fire with a large log and gasoline. He said he was unsuccessful at first and then added kindling and more gasoline. Elijah said he was unsure if he opened the flue. After leaving the room and returning some time later, Elijah told investigators he saw a fire in the hallway.

Elijah said he left the home through a bedroom window and returned to get his 14-month-old daughter.

Court documents said fire investigators reported there appeared to be "multiple origins" of the fire.

No charges have been filed in the case. The investigation is ongoing.

A prayer vigil is set to be held for Anika Hobley on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Hillcrest Community Center located at 10401 Hillcrest Road in Kansas City, Missouri.

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