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Arson kills former area woman, son in Florida

A former Niagara Falls, Ont., woman and her 8-year-old son died April 3 in a suspected arson in their home on Florida's Gulf Coast, according to media reports from Florida and Ontario's Golden Horseshoe.

Carol Wisdom, 43, and her son, Michael, died in the early morning house fire that apparently was set using accelerants in the garage of their home on Duar Terrace in North Port, a community of about 23,000 near Sarasota.

North Port police told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in the days after the blaze that the deaths of the mother and son are "being treated as homicides." Wisdom's estranged husband, Michael, who hadn't lived there for about six months, was questioned and later released, the report stated.

A death notice, published earlier this month in a Niagara Region newspaper, stated that Carol Wisdom and her son "had resided in Florida for the last several years" and noted that she "was a devoted, loving mother to Michael." The former Carol Lyn Lockhart was raised in Niagara Falls, Ont.

A Wednesday report in the St. Catharines Standard indicated that authorities in Florida were still investigating the case.

"[We] are still waiting on investigative reports from the state fire marshal and the medical examiner," North Port Police Capt. Robert Estrada told the newspaper, adding the report from the medical examiner's office was expected to take up to eight weeks.

A memorial service for the boy, who turned 8 in March, was held earlier this month in Florida, according to the Niagara Falls Review. No arrests had been reported as of Thursday.