Emma Presler was charged with murder Monday for the August 6 killing of Devin Graham at a home on Aspen Glad Drive in Montgomery County, Texas. Presler reportedly walked into the victim’s home before setting him on fire. She then fled the scene in a white, four-door car. Police are continuing to search for the suspect who is still on the loose.
Devin Graham, 33, who had been doused in a flammable substance, was then transported to an area hospital via helicopter in critical condition. Graham was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Karissa Lindros, 26, was at the Montgomery County home at the time of the killing. Police said that she also suffered intense burns and was flown to an area hospital. Lindros survived her injuries, according to reports.
The house was subsequently consumed by the blaze. Video footage showed what happened after Emma Presler fled the scene – firefighters frantically trying to get inside the burning building. Graham, who was rescued from the flames, was alive long enough to describe Presler’s appearance, which investigators used to identify the suspect. Reports claimed that Graham managed to describe her as a 25 to 30-year-old white female.
Though she was described as an older individual, authorities eventually discovered that she was a 19-year-old girl. Authorities have not taken Emma Presler into custody. Nineteen days after the horrific murder, the teenage girl is still on the run. Investigators are asking for any leads as to her whereabouts. Anyone with information is urged to contact the HPD Major Assaults and Family Violence Division at 713-308-8800.
Police have not yet identified a motive in the arson case. It isn’t clear what happened leading up to the attack or what the relationship between Emma Presler and her victims was.
Presler was suspected of a drive-by killing last year. The drive-by murder, which occurred on September 13, took the life of Sierra Rhodd, 20, who reportedly had muscular dystrophy. The girl was shot to death in her bedroom as her house was sprayed with bullets from multiple angles. Gang members reportedly unloaded shotguns, rifles, and pistols on the property.
Emma Presler was arrested and charged for the killing but a judge later dropped the charges citing insufficient probable cause. The victim’s family suspected that the gang was targeting Sierra’s 15-year-old brother who had survived the ordeal. The brother was reportedly threatened many times by an unnamed group. The family believed it was the same group that shot their home.
Krystalee Rhodd, Sierra’s mom, said that she “thought it was a failure of the system” for Presler’s release. “These monsters took her from me, and it just… I think that they all need to be in jail for it, including [Presler].”
The arson attack has drummed up a lot of questions in the Kingwood community. Lindros’ family wants to know why Presler attacked the couple. According to the family, Lindros has undergone several surgeries since sustaining heavy burns all over her body. She has several more to go. Her aunt, Lisa Sherlock, asked “Why” Emma Presler attacked her niece. “’Why?’ is the biggest question. Why?”
Though the family was barely holding out for justice, the murder charge against Presler is a step in the right direction. “We actually have a name now, and a face, of who did this,” Sherlock said.
The murder victim, Devin Graham, reportedly “has three children,” according to Lisa Sherlock. They “will now have to grow up without a father.”
Sherlock continued, saying that her niece “is fighting every day of her life to come back to her little girls, her sisters, her mother, and to our family.” According to the aunt, Emma Presler knew Karissa Lindros though police have not corroborated that story.
Krystalee Rhodd told reporters told her “heart goes out to” the families affected by the tragic arson. She said she “[knows] how it feels. I’m just sorry we didn’t get justice the first time, or this wouldn’t have happened.”