CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – The family of a woman who died in a fire on New Year’s Eve is searching for answers.
Ami Maldonado had a big personality, her mother said. She was 38 years old and was very close to her family.
“She was wonderful, she was beautiful, and I don’t really know how I’m gonna go on in this life living without her,” said Cathy Maldonado, Ami’s mom.
In the early morning of December 31, a fire broke out in an apartment unit she was in at the old company homes in Campbell. Her family says fire crews found her body near the back door when they kicked it down.
But, they have questions as to why Ami never made it out or called for help. They wonder if something else happened to her.
While WKBN was interviewing Ami’s mother, a padlock was found outside that the family believes was on her back door. They question if someone could have locked her in.
“Did somebody hurt her? Was that back door locked? Was somebody holding that back door locked, to make her inhale all that smoke? I would just like to see some justice, somebody give me an answer,” Cathy said.
Her mother says many of her belongings were also missing from the unit.
“Everything is gone from her apartment? TV, her laptop, her phones,” Cathy said.
First News also noticed a pair of burned handcuffs near the spot where Ami was found, but it’s unclear how they got there and if it’s at all connected with her death.
Ami was a recovering addict and had been clean for five years, her mother said. She said she was very vocal on social media to try and help others in recovery.
“That’s what her thing on Tik Tok was, you know. Addicts can recover, and we do recover,” Cathy said.
As of now, police do not suspect any foul play, but the fire is still under investigation. The coroner has not released a cause of death for Ami.
First News has reached out to the Campbell Fire Department but has not heard back.