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Exotic dancer set afire in Tarzana; 2 attackers sought

Authorities seek a man and a woman in connection with the crime. The woman had recently applied for a job at the sports bar where the dancer worked but wasn't hired.

February 06, 2009|Corina Knoll

Several weeks ago, Rianne Celine Theriault-Odom applied for a job at Babes & Beer, a sports bar in Tarzana that offers full-contact lap dances along with a wide selection of wine and beer. She wasn't hired.

On Thursday, Theriault-Odom, 27, and Nathaniel Marquis Petrillo, 22, were being sought by police in connection with an attack on one of the bar's exotic dancers. Authorities say the pair doused her with a flammable liquid and set her on fire, leaving the mother of two in critical condition.

The victim, whose name was not released, was counting tips about 1:30 a.m. when she walked outside to talk with Petrillo and Theriault-Odom, both of whom probably knew the victim, authorities said. The woman managed to run back inside, where people tried to snuff out the flames.

Witnesses spotted Petrillo and Theriault-Odom fleeing Babes & Beer, at 18454 Oxnard St., in a gold four-door sedan.

"The suspects had been identified by witnesses' accounts, by people that were at the tavern," said Deputy Chief Michael Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department. "When we find them, they will be arrested for this terrible crime. Given the condition of this victim, they may be responsible for ultimately her murder."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, February 07, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 39 words Type of Material: Correction
LAPD deputy chief: An article in Friday's California section about an exotic dancer who was set on fire at a sports bar in Tarzana misspelled the first name of Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michel Moore as Michael.

The woman, 27, suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40% of her body, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman d'Lisa Davies.

The victim is at Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks. An update on her condition should be available today.

Her condition "has stayed the same for now," Kelli Rix, director of burn services at Grossman, said Thursday. "Burns are a unique problem in that they aren't completely obvious right at the beginning, so it could progress a little bit more."

Police have gotten dozens of tips and are confident the suspects will be found soon, said Lt. Mark Tappan of the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division.

Petrillo is described as African American, 5 feet 6 and 145 pounds; Theriault-Odom is African American, 5 feet 10 and 140 pounds, with long, curly hair, officials said. Their relationship is unknown.

Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at (213) 485-2531 or (877) LAPD-24-7.


Times staff writer Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.

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