Woman arrested, charged with arson in Edgewood Walmart fire

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EDGEWOOD, N.M. – Last November, a fire at the Edgewood Walmart forced the closure of the store for a few weeks during the Thanksgiving holiday. Police were investigating the fire as arson, and now a suspect has been arrested in connection to the fire.

32-year-old Jessica Campbell was federally charged with arson, and KOB 4 found out Campbell has a history with the Edgewood Walmart.

According to investigators, just a month after starting the fire at Walmart, she returned to the scene of the crime. Lapel camera video showed Campbell in the parking lot talking to police.

At the time, Campbell claimed she didn’t know the woman she was with, Leila Williams, was shoplifting. But after further investigation by police, Williams said it was Campbell who started the fires to distract police from the shoplifting.

"I told her not to, I told her that’s the dumbest idea you could ever do. But she still like, wanted to do it."

Then in April 2022, investigators say Campbell returned to the Walmart – this time with Manuel Lara.

It’s unclear what they were trying to do at the Walmart, but in the criminal complaint, police say both fled in their vehicle after being confronted. After a short chase, they were both arrested at a local restaurant.

Campbell was federally indicted March 26 for starting multiple fires throughout the Edgewood Walmart. Williams was charged with shoplifting, but Campbell is the only one facing charges for the fire.