SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico - Sunland Park police need your help finding the person responsible for the fire that claimed the life of an eight-year-old girl.
"It is very serious," said Detective Daniel Perez of the Sunland Park Police Department.
"I felt sad," said Sofia Perez, who told ABC-7 she was a classmate and friend of Marisa. "Ms. Mendez told us that Marisa died. And all of us started crying."
On Thursday, a number of family members were huddling and crying at the scene on Mesquite Drive. The fire was reported after 3:30 a.m.
"It's a lot of mixed feelings, because I was just here at around 11 in the night," said Christopher Porras, who said Marisa was his cousin. "It's really hard right now with the loss of my little cousin and the loss of my grandfather's house, you know. Just really bad."
It's been at least five years since someone died in a fire in the city of Sunland Park, a spokesman said. Detective Perez couldn't remember the last time there was an arson investigation.
"It is very rare, I can tell you. And again, we are working hard to protect the citizens of Sunland Park. That's why we are asking for the public... help."
The New Mexico State Fire Marshal's Office has taken over the investigation, but the Sunland Park Police Department can be reached at (575) 589-2225.