Trenton investigate deadly fire as homicide

May 13, 2008 3:27:59 PM PDT
Police are blanketing a Trenton neighborhood in search of the people responsible for setting a deadly fire.A taskforce, comprising of state, country, and local police and the FBI have begun blanketing Walnut Avenue, trying to develop information about Sunday's fire that claimed the life of 10-year-old Qua-Daishai Hopkins.

Authorities are looking at the possibility that the blaze was set by gang members in retaliation.

"That is obviously a connection that we're looking at and looking at strongly," Joseph Santiago of the Trenton Police Department said.

Francis Hopkins, Qua-Daishai's mother, who escaped the fire, testified last year against convicted drug dealer Isaac Barlow, who's now serving life in prison.

Before his arrest, Barlow lived next to the Hopkins, in a house, believed to be a gang headquarters.

Police are offering up to a $25,000 reward and are circulating flyers with Qua-Daishai's picture and a confidential hotline number for information.

Police will engage in what they are calling an aggressive enforcement action, cracking down on the neighborhood to try and shake loose information.

The 24-hour hotline number for Trenton police is (609) 989-3663.