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Marshalltown Woman Set on Fire Says Suspect has a Violent Past

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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The road to recovery is a long one for both a mother and her daughter who say they were intentionally set on fire last week. Thirty-three -year–old Keyslea Hearne remains hospitalized in the burn unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Her mother, Betty Burch has been released.

Last Wednesday,Eddie De Los Santos, 24, was accused of setting the two women on fire at Burch’s home in Marshalltown.

“I could see a flame but I didn’t know what it was but it was her, on fire, running to me screaming,” says Burch. “I grabbed her and that’s when he threw gas in my face and set me on fire.”

Burch says her life flashed before her eyes as she watched De Los Santos craft together household items to use as a blow torch.

“He threw gas on me and then with the WD-40, I saw him strike the cigarette lighter and it just blazed up on me. It was just a lot of fire, like a torch.”

Burch has first and second degree burns to the upper half of her body. Hearne suffers from third degree burns on 40 percent of her body. Doctors tell us she is still intubated and will undergo her second skin graft surgery on Friday.

While Burch says she doesn’t know why her daughter’s boyfriend did this, she says their relationship has a history of abuse. According to Burch, several months ago De Los Santos stabbed Hearne when they were living in Oklahoma.

“We don’t have a real hateful heart because we are Christians and we forgive him but we never want to see him anymore.”

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Friday for De Los Santos. He remains in the Marshall County Jail on several charges including attempted murder and domestic abuse.

If you would like to help the family with medical expenses a GoFundMe site has been set up to accept donations.