Double child murder suspect blames 'celebrity human trafficking ring' for his deadly arson

Filimon Hurtado is due back in court in November and the DA's office could decide by then whether to pursue the death penalty.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022
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A Fresno man who set fire to his family's home and killed two young children told investigators he had no regrets and did it to expose a celebrity human trafficking ring.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno man who set fire to his family's home and killed two young children told investigators he had no regrets and did it to expose a celebrity human trafficking ring.

Defense attorneys are setting up an insanity defense for the defendant, who could potentially face the death penalty.

Calyx and Cataleya Hurtado were 5 and 18 months old, respectively, when their uncle set their home on fire and watched them dying five months ago.

Filimon Hurtado told detectives he intended to kill the kids, but his attorneys say his confessions are also his defense.

As firefighters finished dousing the flames at a west central Fresno home in May 2022, investigators found two children alone on a bed in the main bedroom.

RELATED: Fresno police identify arson suspect accused of setting fire that killed 2 young children

"They were both deceased," said Fresno Fire Department investigator Nathan Dansby. "Both of them had a lot of heat damage on the top side of their bodies."

Dansby interviewed Filimon Hurtado in the back of an ambulance as the fire died down.

Hurtado admitted to setting the bedroom on fire and watching as the kids started struggling to breathe before their mother tried to stop him.

"I poured gasoline at the bottom of the door," Hurtado said. "I started the fire. She tried to put it out. She was acting very nonchalant. She didn't know what was wrong. She was asking me what was wrong. I knocked her over and poured gas all over her body."

The mother suffered serious burns but survived.

Hurtado told investigators he needed to do something bigger than killing himself to draw attention to a celebrity human trafficking and cloning ring that made him a victim in 2017.

"Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi, they both abducted me from the hookah bar," Hurtado told investigators in a recorded interview.

Brown, a star of the Netflix series Stranger Things, turned 13 years old in 2017. Bongiovi, Brown's current boyfriend and son of the lead singer to the rock band Bon Jovi, turned 15.

Hurtado's conspiracy theory doesn't appear to have any traction on the internet. But he made the same bizarre accusations in a YouTube video days before the deadly fire.

And afterwards, he told police the kids' deaths didn't weigh on his mind.

"Do you regret any of this stuff here?" Dansby asked him.

"No," Hurtado said. "This task is much bigger than myself."

Judge Michael Idiart decided Monday that there is enough evidence for Hurtado to stand trial for the murders and arson.

The defendant is due back in court in November and the DA's office could decide by then whether to pursue the death penalty.

Hurtado's attorneys tell Action News he'll likely plead not guilty by reason of insanity.