Texas teen Emma Presler wanted for murder after entering home and setting man on fire

Murder charges have been filed against the 19-year-old woman after she broke into Houston home, doused a couple and set them on fire

                            Texas teen Emma Presler wanted for murder after entering home and setting man on fire
Emma Presler from a 2020 booking photo (Houston Police Department)

HOUSTON, TEXAS: A 19-year-old Texas teen is on the run after allegedly setting a Houston couple on fire. Emma Presler is reportedly at large after a warrant was issued for her arrest over the brutal assault of a couple on August 6. On August 23, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges after the husband died from his injuries, while the wife was hospitalized with severe burns.

The shocking incident is one of the several fatal assaults to occur in recent weeks, as America faces a massive surge in crime. On August 15, a military vet was caught on CCTV attacking a man at a Manhattan ATM with a machete, leading to a 2-day hunt before he was arrested. Shortly before that, we reported on the unprovoked attack on a 22-year-old photographer in Seattle, leading to him starting a GoFundMe to raise cash for treatment. In late July, we also covered the daylight beheading of a woman in Shakopee, Minnesota by her boyfriend. 


Who is Frank Penkava? Florida man, 42, beaten to pulp for asking neighbors to turn down music

'Jealous' husband bludgeons wife to death with crowbar at NYC bus stop: 'How dare you cheat on me?'

The brutal attacks are just a small example of the massive crime wave that is overpowering police departments all over the US. In Houston for example, the Houston Police Department (HPD) recorded a 35% increase in homicides this year compared to 2020. Presler added to those statistics on August 6, after an unprovoked attack on Devin Graham and Karissa Lindros, while they were at home.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Law enforcement personnel work at the scene of a shooting where five Houston police officers were reported shot on January 28, 2019, in Houston, Texas. (Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

Who is Emma Presler?

Little is known about the Houston teen, beyond her criminal record. The 19-year-old does have a Facebook account, but it doesn't seem to be active. There are no details of where she studied or worked. She does have a large criminal record, having been previously arrested on several occasions. In March 2020, she pleaded guilty to theft for stealing an officer's jacket after breaking into his car in Harris County. 

Presler was previously arrested in July 2019 for possession of a controlled substance and evading arrest in Waller County. In September 2020, Presler was charged over a drive-by shooting at a home in Cyprus, Texas. The victim, who suffered from cerebral palsy was shot by multiple shooters while she slept. Cops arrested Presler as one of those involved, but the charges were dropped after prosecutors were unable to convince a judge that she was directly responsible. Since March 2021, Presler has also been wanted over a felony methamphetamine possession charge in Harris County. 

Reportedly, Preser lives with her grandparents in Houston, with neighbors reporting that the home has been a venue for incidents like prostitution and drug sales. "We’re hoping that they get out of the neighborhood," one resident told The Daily Beast. Reportedly, Presler moved in with her grandparents after her parents landed in trouble. Since then, the home has seen numerous incidents including a suspicious fire, and assaults. 

An old booking photo of Emma Presler (Montgomery County Police Reporter)

What did Emma Presler do?

On August 6, Prelser reportedly broke into a home on Aspen Glade Drive. She then reportedly poured an unknown substance over Graham, 33, and Lindros, 26, before setting them on fire. Graham was reportedly able to describe Presler to the HPD. The couple was airlifted to a local hospital, where Graham succumbed to his injuries days later. Lindros remains in hospital, reportedly "fighting for her life", after she suffered burns across 70% of her body.

It is unclear why Presler set the couple on fire. She reportedly knew Lindros, but a person who confirmed that wouldn't detail how they were related. Presler was charged after eyewitnesses described the woman fleeing the home. The couple reportedly has two young girls, who were not harmed by Presler's assault. A family friend has since started a GoFundMe to help raise money for Lindros. At the time of publication, the fundraiser has raised $3,195 of its $25,000 goal. 

On August 23, the HPD confirmed a warrant was out for Presler in a press release. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Emma Presler is urged to contact the HPD Major Assaults & Family Violence Division at 713-308-8800 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. She was reportedly last seen fleeing in a white, four-door sedan.