A search continued Friday for a man and a woman who doused a 27-year-old exotic dancer with a flammable liquid and set her on fire outside a Tarzana bar, leaving the mother of two in grave condition, authorities said.
The assailants, identified by police as Nathaniel Petrillo, 22, and 27-year-old Rianne Theriault-Odom, were being sought for attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The attack left the victim with severe burns over about 60 percent of her body. The victim was hospitalized in grave condition, and her condition remained unchanged late Thursday evening, said Officer Jason Lee of the LAPD's Media Relations unit.
It happened outside the Babes & Beer nightclub at 18454 Oxnard St. at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, said Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Michael Moore. The motive was unclear.
The victim, identified by friends as Brazilian-born Roberta Abdue Dos Santos Busby of Simi Valley, was counting tips inside the bikini bar just before closing time when she was called outside, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
Authorities said she went outside to talk to the two suspects, who then poured an accelerant on her and set her on fire.
She then ran back inside yelling, "'Am I OK? Am I OK?'," a friend who declined to give her name told The Daily News.
The club's employees and some patrons used curtains to put the flames out, Los Angeles police Lt. John Romero told the newspaper.
"These are two individuals that, in a very violent manner, attack this young woman with no ... provocation," Moore said. "There's really no justification for this."
Police said the suspects, described as Valley residents who frequented the bar, fled in a metallic gold newer model sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry.
According to court records reviewed by The Daily News, Theriault-Odom was previously convicted of burglary in Nov. 2005. Petrillo was convicted of drug possession in Aug. 2008, and found guilty of credit card fraud in Dec. 2006.
Theriault-Odom applied for a job at the bar several weeks ago but was not hired, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
A 14-year friend of the victim told The Daily News that Busby had been working full-time for a bill-collection agency and dancing part-time under the name Mia to help ends meet. When she was recently laid off, the mother of two young daughters, ages 8 and 4, decided to dance more frequently, the friend said.
Friends told the Daily News that the victim is a good mother with a strong personality.