Authorities arrest Islamic Center arson suspect
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -The woman accused of setting fires at the Islamic Center in Albuquerque has been arrested. Isela Camarena has been booked in jail.
A month after a woman set multiple fires at the Islamic Center of New Mexico, costing thousands of dollars in damage, authorities released who they believe the suspect is.
An arrest affidavit released Monday reveals authorities were searching for Isela Camarena.
The fires were intentionally set on Nov. 29th. Security camera footage from that day shows the moments police say Camarena set a trashcan on fire, then poured the burning trash on the ground and spread it.
A moment Tahir Gauba a spokesperson for the Islamic Center and so many others remember vividly.
“It was terrifying,” Gauba says, "It is a big relief for us that this person has been identified."
Local and federal authorities have been searching for the suspect for weeks. What finally led to Camarena being named is when a family member saw photos of the suspect and identified her according to the arrest affidavit.
The affidavit also goes on to say that Camarena did not live far from the Islamic Center and security camera footage also showed her there twice before. Once for a meal and the second when police say she pulled a fire alarm. Both authorities and Gauba believe it was to test the security measures. “This was all pre planned,” Gauba says.
In total, Gauba says the fires cost just more than $10,000 in damages. He also said the Islamic Center is looking at spending about $25,000 for improved security.
When KOB 4 asked Gauba if he and the Islamic Center can forgive Camarena for what she’s accused of doing, he said they already forgive her, but still want justice.
"I hope they apprehend her as soon as possible," Gauba said.