HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Charred remnants and burnt belongings is what remains at a Hudson Falls home.
Police say that Derrick Guilder, 22, purposely set the home on fire killing, his girlfriend but in the rubble here these flowers in honor of Ashley Coltrain.
“We wondered how he got out and she didn’t. That was it. That was our first thing was how did he get out and she didn’t,” Evelyn Pratt, of Hudson Falls, said.
That same question is what investigators found themselves asking when Guilder made it out to the roof through a window after pulling out an air conditioner unit in the second-floor bedroom. Meanwhile, police say his girlfriend 19-year-old Ashely Coltrain called 911 but did not make it out of the blaze.
Guilder now charged with murder and arson, police say he admitted to starting the fire in the downstairs living room by lighting papers on fire on a couch. Police say he went into the couple’s bedroom where Coltrain was sleeping and shut the door, but why?
“He was upset over the two of them were going to break up,” Hudson Falls Police Chief Randy Diamond said.
Police believe Guilder intended to kill himself and Coltrain in the fire. The heartache running deep in Hudson Falls, family friend Evelyn Pratt held back tears. Coltrain recently lost her own mother last week.
“Ashley took full reign when her mother died and took care of everything. She did everything. She was so so strong, so strong. That strength has been taken from us,” Pratt said.
Pratt says Coltrain had a job as a team member at Great Escape and helped take care of her younger brother.
“She was just always happy, always wonderful. I can’t believe he’s done this. I just can’t even believe anybody would hurt Ashley.”
Shockingly, fire investigators say there was not one single fire alarm in the home.
“We did our job and brought it to a conclusion but everybody loses here,” Chief Diamond said.