Exotic dancer set on fire outside club

June 22, 2009 12:24:24 PM PDT
An exotic dancer is in critical condition after she was set on fire outside a Tarzana nightclub where she works early Thursday morning.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Detectives said the victim was attacked on the sidewalk in front of Babes and Beer nightclub in the 18400 block of Oxnard Street at about 1:30 a.m.

The victim, identified only as 27-year-old woman, is clinging to life with burns on over 60 percent of her body.

"We're exploring what would cause two individuals to call a young woman out of a tavern, douse her with gasoline, then set her aflame," said LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore.

"I can't give you a rationale to whether it's a relationship dispute or what this is over because I can't come to terms with what would allow a person to do that to another human being," Moore said.

Police are trying to hunt down the man and woman they believe are responsible for this vicious attack on a mother of two.

Witnesses said Nathaniel Petrillo, 22, and Rianne Celine Theriault-Odom, 27, are responsible for the crime. Both have been seen in and around the bar in the past.

"When we find them, they will be arrested for this terrible crime," Moore said, adding that given the condition of the victim, they may be responsible for her murder.

As police search for the suspects, people who work in the area try to come to grips with the violent nature of the crime.

"Heinous. I really hope they catch the people who did this," said one woman.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD robbery homicide division at 213-485-2531.

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