EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A 40-year-old man is accused of threatening to kill his female roommate and later torching her mother’s home in Troy, Illinois.
On Sept. 22, Troy police were responding to a domestic disturbance call at a duplex on Wood Thrush Street around 2:30 p.m. After police arrived, they noticed a large fire at a nearby home and contacted the fire department for assistance.
The flames and heavy smoke delayed firefighters from getting into the residence. The homeowner, Susanne Tomlinson, was found dead inside. An autopsy confirmed the 69-year-old died of smoke inhalation.
Firefighters also pulled a man from the burning house. He was brought to a St. Louis-area hospital for treatment.
Investigators with the Troy Police Department, Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit determined the man, identified as Michael Sloan Jr., had started the fire.
Sloan lived with Tomlinson’s daughter at the duplex on Wood Thrush.
According to court documents, Sloan attempted to kill Tomlinson’s daughter. He allegedly ordered her to bind herself with zip-ties, doused her with gasoline, held a knife to her throat, and said he would kill her.
The daughter managed to escape and flee to a neighbor’s home. Sloan then went to Tomlinson’s house with a gas can and is believed to have started the fire.
The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Sloan with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated arson, and one count of aggravated unlawful restraint. A judge set Sloan’s bail at $1 million.
If convicted, Sloan faces between 20 and 60 years in prison on each murder charge, 30 years for aggravated arson and attempted murder, and up to five years for aggravated unlawful restraint.