Sturgis mother who lost baby in fire allegedly loots neighbors

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email

STURGIS, Mich. A Sturgis mother whose baby was killed in an apartment fire is accused of taking advantage of the situation to loot her neighbors.

Firefighters pulled Kendra Rustad-Hojara's 11-month-old child from the apartment blaze last month, but it was too late to save her.

The mother, 21, had escaped the fire at the Gateway Village apartments in Sturgis unharmed.

She told investigators she could not get to the child because of all the smoke.

Eight families were displaced after their units were damaged so badly, they were unlivable.
Three days after the fire, police got a call that people were carrying items out of those apartments, and started to investigate.

Officers say Rustad-Hojara and a man -- 32 year old Timothy Pelfrey-- broke into one their neighbor’s apartments and stole items.

The two were taken to the St. Joseph County Jail.


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