BANDERA COUNTY -- On Sunday morning just after midnight, Bandera County Sheriff's deputies were called to a home on 18th Street in Lakehills, Texas, for a disturbance. A 15-year-old girl was concerned about her mother's bizarre behavior.
Adriana Cross said her mother, Tanya Vilt, 54, had been making statements that some unidentified people were trying to kill her and they were going to burn the house down.
"She just kept saying there were people out here when there was nobody here," Cross said. "And she was saying that things were wrong and I kept checking and nobody was here."
Authorities said Vilt had boarded up the windows and refused to open the door to a responding deputy. Capt. Shane Merritt said Vilt also refused medical attention. The deputy checked the area around the home and determined there was nothing he could do, so he left.
"We didn't have any authority to forcibly enter the residence," Merritt said.
Merritt said the deputy did not contact Adult Protective Services.
Around 6:40 that same morning, emergency crews responded to a fire at the home. Vilt was found on the floor near an exterior doorway. The fire started in a shower stall on top of a pile of clothes. Exactly how the fire started is under investigation.
Cross said her mother had back issues and was on pain medication, but had recently stopped taking the pills.
"My mom has always been sane, always been on top of her game, that's why this was freaking me out, because this whole past month she's been fine," Cross said.
Cross wishes authorities would have done more during that call for help.
"That night if the police had done what I had asked, my mother wouldn't be dead right now," said Cross. "She would be fine. They would have picked her up, seen that she had a mental problem, confined her somewhere safe, but they left her here and she had to die alone because of that."
Investigators are waiting on a final arson report and a final autopsy. For now, the death is considered a possible homicide.