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Long Beach Couple Arrested in Arson Death of Daughter

April 02, 1985

A Long Beach couple was arrested early this morning after their 13-month-old daughter died in what apparently was an arson fire in the couple's apartment, police said.

Homicide investigators said Donald Simmons, 33, and his wife, Marilyn, 32, were booked on suspicion of murder after they returned to the charred second-floor apartment in the 6400 block of Atlantic Avenue from a neighborhood bar.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at the apartment at 12:22 a.m. and quickly extinguished the flames. Once inside the apartment, firefighters found the infant, Donalyn, dead in her crib, fire officials said.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, but arson investigators said the blaze appears to have been deliberately set. Donald Simmons also was booked on suspicion of arson and his wife was booked for alleged child abuse, police said.

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