A television producer has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her sister by drugging her and torching their garage in North Hollywood in a cover-up, police said.
Jill Blackstone, who has worked with Jerry Springer, killed her sister Wendy and two of their dogs in the blaze, the Los Angeles Police Department said on Thursday.
She was arrested in Baltimore, Maryland, on suspicion of one count of murder and three counts of animal cruelty over the fire on March 14, 2015.
The LAPD said she drugged her sister before placing her in their garage along with three pet dogs, two of which died when she set the site on fire “staging it as an accident”.
“Homicide detectives believe the motive was Jill’s frustration of being forced to provide Wendy long-term care, as well as the associated financial hardship,” a police statement added.
Wendy Blackstone, 49, was deaf and partially blind and found with a suicide note, according to reports.
A Los Angeles County coroner recorded her death as being from the combined effects of the fire’s effect on her breathing and of the tranquilliser alprazolam, which can be known by the trade name Xanax.
The manner of her death was left “undetermined”.
The district attorney’s office filed the charges in March and issued an arrest warrant for Jill Blackstone.
She was arrested on Thursday when she checked herself into hospital in Baltimore for a medical condition, the LAPD said.
Blackstone, whose age was not provided by police, will now face extradition to Los Angeles where she will appear in court.