Former friends of a Connecticut woman who was charged with setting fire to a local church and synagogue last week have said that she is worshipping the devil and burning the Bible, according to WFSB local media.
“She started worshiping Santeria and witchcraft and that’s all that stuff and that is what she’s been practicing,” Luis Malave said of Kimorah Parker, 30.
He said he has known Parker since she was 15.
Parker allegedly set St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church and Congregation Tephereth Israel on fire on Friday in the city of New Britain, police told Connecticut’s WTNH. They said she is also a suspect in similar cases.
Parker appeared virtually at New Britain Superior Court earlier this week on charges of arson and burglary. She is in custody on a $260,000 bond, WFSB said. She is expected to return to court again in two weeks.
According to the account police told WTNH, Parker was observed on the surveillance videos near the houses of worship, and when they picked her up, she had two lighters, religious documents they believe were taken from the church and clothes that smelled like smoke.
Pastor Mark Valigorsky of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church told WTNH that the alleged culprit seemed to have entered the church by throwing one of the church’s planters at the front window.
“It is a hate crime, if you will, that someone would do this,” Valigorsky said.
He said Parker put items on the stove, turned it on and left the vicinity.
One of the synagogue members posted a statement on Tephereth Israel’s Facebook page:
“Just to give you an idea of what was destroyed in the fire: From looking at the outside I am guessing that the upper balcony, wall and maybe the stairs to the left outside the doors were damaged,” the post read. “The balcony is where all the women sat for services. When we were kids, we sat up there with my grandmother and mom. I can still remember a full synagogue and where all the ladies sat and all of their names.
“The plaques on the back wall on each side of the doors are memorials with each member who passed name,” the post continued. “My Dad, grandmother and grandfather were on the left side. Most likely damaged by the fire Friday evening. Just wanted to give you a better idea of what was senselessly destroyed.”
WTNH said the damage to the church is minimal but that an engineer will need to evaluate if it is safe to rebuild the synagogue.
WSFB spoke to Parker's friend Malave on Monday at the courthouse. He said she had been putting the religious items in her home to be used as part of rituals.
On Parker’s Facebook page a photo of a makeshift altar can be seen with a message reading, “I hope that unicorn lamps is gonna be bright enough we headed for mercury pilot cloud 9 ready for take off with CO pilot 8.”
The post was first shared by the Christian Post.
“She said it is time for the world to change,” Malave said.
He added in a separate interview with Fox that she also allegedly believes "that she is Ezriel. She is the new God."
Then he spoke to Parker through the interview with WSFB and added, “I just want you to do right. Burning churches isn’t righteous. You already burned the Bible.”