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Ex-employee accused of arson at St. Louis Airport Marriott

ST. LOUIS – A woman from St. Louis, Missouri has been indicted on an arson charge and accused of setting fires at a hotel after being fired.

Ramona Cook, 25, was indicted May 10 and arrested and pleaded not guilty Wednesday. She is due in court Friday for a hearing that will determine whether she is jailed until trial.

The indictment says that on Dec. 22, 2022, Cook maliciously damaged by means of fire the Marriott St. Louis Airport hotel at 10700 Pear Tree Drive.

A motion seeking to have Cook held in jail says that she was fired that day for being intoxicated at work. She returned shortly after being escorted out of the hotel by police and set multiple fires in the hotel, the motion says, displacing the occupants of more than 400 rooms.

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The arson charge carries a penalty of 5 years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Finlen is prosecuting the case.

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