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Baltimore man confesses to fatally stabbing woman, setting house on fire, police say

A 34-year-old man has allegedly confessed to stabbing a Baltimore woman in a vacant house before setting the building on fire, Baltimore police said Friday.

Crews responded early Thursday to the 600 block of East Biddle Street in the Johnston Square neighborhood for a report of a fire in a three-story vacant rowhouse.

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After extinguishing the blaze, fire crews found 52-year-old Anita Cheeks of Central Park Heights unresponsive and pronounced her dead at the scene, police spokeswoman Nicole Monroe said.

Police later arrested and charged David Okoroji after he allegedly confessed to the killing, Monroe said.

He is charged with first- and second-degree murder, first-degree arson and a charge related to use of a dangerous weapon. No attorney was listed Friday in court documents for Okoroji.

Okoroji allegedly told police that he stabbed Cheeks four or five times with a large kitchen knife. The woman begged him to stop during the attack, Okoroji allegedly told police.

He then said he used a newspaper and a lighter to start the fire. After the attack, Okoroji allegedly went to another location where he took a shower and threw away the bloody clothing in the trash, Monroe said.

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