DURANT, Okla. – An Oklahoma man was arrested after allegedly violently beating a woman and then setting her on fire.
Neighbors who found the 50-year-old woman on the street say she was unrecognizable.
“She had been beaten beyond recognition,” said one neighbor. “Her face had been singed, her face had been burned, her hair all singed, her arm is broke. And come to find out he had poured acetone on her and set her on fire.”
“There was blood everywhere,” the other neighbor said.
Police arrested Nehemiah Hellems, a reported amateur MMA fighter, for the violent crime. They say he was upset over drugs.
“He probably thought she was dead,” a neighbor told KXII. “That’s probably what saved her life. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have run out that door.”
When the neighbors found the woman on the street, they rushed to help her.
“And she started walking like this, and she kind of stumbled right here and went down, and I noticed she went down and I asked her, ‘Are you okay?’ again and she kept saying, ‘Water, water,'” said a neighbor. “And we set her down right here and she could go no further.”
“And she talked but she kept saying, ‘He’s going to kill me, he’s going to kill me,'” said the other neighbor. “And I told her it was alright and she said, ‘Well, you can’t protect me’ and I said, ‘Well, I sure will try.”
Hellems has a long and violent criminal history, including time in prison for assault.
The woman was taken to the hospital where she is still recovering.
A dog was also injured, and officials say animal cruelty charges may be filed.