Woman faces arson charge related to 2021 hair salon fire in Fort Myers Shores

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Valerie Diaz (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

A woman who was arrested and accused of making threats against a hair salon owner and their family is now facing charges for a fire at that business.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has brought new charges against Valerie Diaz, 28, relating to the fire that destroyed the Head Rush Hair Salon on Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers Shores.

The Fort Myers Shores Fire Department responded to the Head Rush Hair Salon on May 20, 2021, for a fire at the business. Once the fire was out, arson investigators took over and determined the fire was set intentionally.

Investigators say the person responsible for starting the fire entered the business by breaking a front window before setting the curtains on fire. Near the scene, investigators found a bottle of lighter fluid discarded on the side of the road.

The owner of the building and the owner of the hair salon both told Lee County Sheriff’s deputies that they believed Diaz was responsible for the fire. They told deputies that there had been ongoing issues with Diaz, who they said had been making threats against their families. Deputies had arrested Diaz for those threats the month before the fire.

MORE: Salon fire destroys owner’s livelihood

Diaz was taken into custody by deputies for a pre-trial violation the day after the fire. They say she had sent several texts and left voicemails with the victims on the night of the incident. Deputies say Diaz sent messages saying, “guess what, now your business is going to be more (sic) up.”

Based on DNA and other evidence collected during the investigation into the fire and the person responsible, deputies have brought new charges against Diaz. She now faces charges for arson, burglary, and criminal mischief property damage of $1,000 or more.

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