WEST ALEXANDRIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The Preble County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges Wednesday in connection to a fatal fire that killed two children.
Prosecutors charged Chastity Hall with two counts of child endangering. Her ex-boyfriend, Arcadio Escobar, 34, is charged with trespass in a habitation.
Hall was arraigned Wedneday morning. She posted 10% of a $50,000 bond and is out of jail awaiting a March 4 pre-trial hearing.
Escobar is being held in the Preble County Jail. He requested an interpreter for his arraignment. It is scheduled for Thursday morning. He is being held on $50,000 bond.
The charges stem from the fire Saturday at a home in the 3400 block of U.S. Route 35.
Malea Bradburn, 10, and her brother, Malachi, 9, were killed. Their bodies were found in the basement of the home after deputies say Hall returned home and said her children were inside. Deputies say Hall left the children home alone “for an extended period of time”.
Deputies say the charge against Escobar is based on the fact that it was determined that Escobar was at the residence on the night of the fire. Escobar was questioned about the fire, but investigators say there is insufficient evidence to justify filing of criminal charges related to the fire or the death of the children.
2 NEWS checked with Preble County Children Services about any history with the family. Director Becky Sorrell says the department has no active investigation involving the family and there is no known history of abuse or neglect of the children by their parents.
A memorial quickly arose at the scene in memory of the children.
Grief counselors were brought in at the siblings’ school to help staff and students cope.
Malea was a fourth grader and her brother was a third grader at Twin Valley Elementary School. Their funerals are planned for Saturday.