Los Angeles Arsonist Is Mentally Ill Says Mother

Hollywood Arson Fire Dec 29 - H 2011

Hollywood Arson Fire Dec 29 - H 2011

Dorothee Burkhart appeared before federal court to face a German criminal warrant Tuesday, asking for her son Harry Burkhart who was arrested on suspicion of starting over 50 fires around Southern California.

One day after suspected Los Angles arsonist Harry Burkhart was arrested, his mother, Dorothee Burkhart appeared in L.A. federal court to face a German criminal warrant. 

During the hearing, Burkhart, who could be deported due to 19 counts of fraud brought against her by the German government, repeatedly asked about the whereabouts of her son, seemingly unaware of his arrest, reports the Los Angeles Times

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"My first question is, where is my son?" Dorothee yelled in court according to the Times. "Since yesterday he's not available. What did you do to my son?"

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U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Nagel then told her: "I'm not here to address anything related to your son."

But, Dorothee continued, talking over Nagel accusing, "Where is he? Dead?" she said. "Maybe the German Nazi[s] know our address."

According to the Times she then said, in broken English, that Harry was mentally ill.

Harry, 24, was booked on arson charges Monday, in relation to at least 50 fires that were set over the holiday weekend and caused an estimated $3 million in damages to properties in Hollywood, the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley. 

He is also a German national, but has lived in Southern California for the last several years, and was carrying travel papers from Chechnya at the time of his arrest. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

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Police have speculated that Harry's motives for starting the fires may be in relation to his mother's possible deportation.

 Dorothee is accused of falsifying the verification of a nearly $10,000 down payment to a Frankfurt surgeon for breast augmentation surgery. The original charges were filed in 2007.