FRANKFORT, Ky. – Social media can lead to new connections but it can also bring unwanted attention.
A Kentucky man is facing charges of burglary and arson after allegedly burning down the house of a woman who rejected him on Facebook.
“I definitely hate to see this for my sister,” said Samantha Beagle, the victim’s sister.
Samantha Beagle and her husband tried to save her sister’s home, but it was too late.
“My husband actually pushed the front door open and we had to jump off the front porch. There was no going in, smoke was just rolling out,” Beagle said.
“This is one of those tragic situations where somebody is now without a home and for such a minor reason. It’s disturbing,” said Major Robert Warfel, with the Frankfort Police Department.
Major Warfel says the homeowner, 22-year-old Joanie Yount, was being harassed online by 37-year-old James Graham.
“She had some comments posted by this individual on her Facebook page about some pictures she had. She rebuffed those and it’s kind of what set this all in motion,” he said.
“It got to the point that she was very aggravated,” Samantha Beagle said.
Beagle says Graham was an acquaintance but Joanie Yount was not interested in a relationship.
“She doesn’t want a relationship, she just wants people to leave her alone. When it comes to stuff like that, either be decent or don’t bother her at all,” she said.
However, authorities say Graham didn’t back off.
Police say he found an unlocked door, let himself inside and started a fire in Yount’s bedroom.
Fortunately, Yount and her 3-year-old son were not home at the time.
Beagle says she can’t imagine what Graham would have done if Yount was home at the time.
The home suffered smoke and water damage, which destroyed the floors and ceilings in some of the rooms.
The single mother and her son were forced to find another place to stay.
Yount has picked up a second job to help replace her son’s Christmas presents that were destroyed in the fire.
Graham is now charged with burglary and arson.