‘I’m blessed,’ says Chesterfield arson suspect after being released on bond

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 13:26:10-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A 36-year-old woman accused of setting her father's house on fire and injuring herself in the process told WTVR CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit "I'm blessed" after her court appearance on Thursday morning.

Nya Tamoi Reynolds seemed distressed in court, and a judge even told her to stop talking at one point, but she just kept going.

Chesterfield fire investigators charged Reynolds with with setting her father’s house on fire on Aug. 7.

Her neighbor, Chaz Stefaniak, shot video the night of the fire, and at the time, had no clue the fire had allegedly been intentionally set.

"Everyone was confused how it happened," Stefaniak said.

Fire investigators say the flames started in a bedroom and an accelerant was used.

Reynolds was badly injured during the fire, and she was found by the mailbox outside.

"That's weird," Stefaniak said.

According to court documents, Reynolds is working on her PhD, works at Defense Supply Center, and was planning on going to California or Thailand.

Fire investigators say she was in a bad car accident in the past where she injured her head, and she now uses a tracheostomy tube and is a motivational speaker.

While Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the fire, Stefaniak hopes the family can put their lives back together soon.

I feel bad cuz that's their entire home and it's gone now," Stefaniak said.

Reynolds was released on bond, but the judge ordered her to surrender her passport and undergo a mental health evaluation. She will be in court again on Oct. 5.

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