Kirschenbaum’s collection of boxing gloves, personal letters and photos of boxing great Joe Louis was destroyed in the blaze. He estimated the memorabilia were worth about $100,000.
Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin, a clinical psychologist, said she was driving in for an appointment Tuesday morning when a member of her staff called with this frantic message: “Kim, the building is on fire. They’re shooting.”
Dwane Blackmon, Detroit police homicide inspector, declined to identify the maintenance man as the suspect but said everyone else inside except the woman and a male suspect appeared to have escaped the blaze.
Williams-Hill said she was asked to go to the coroner’s office to identify whether the deceased woman was her daughter “because of the condition of the body.”
She said her daughter had been dating the married maintenance man for more than a year, but their relationship was rocky and Sharita eventually began seeing someone else. She even moved out of the city and into a Detroit suburb to get away from him. He refused to leave her alone, Williams-Hill said.
Police and arson investigators on Tuesday interviewed people who worked in the building and relatives of Sharita Williams and the maintenance man.
Blackmon could not confirm whether the two had been in a relationship.