ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife and setting fire to his home was arrested and charged Saturday, officials announced Sunday.

According to officials, officers received reports of a stabbing Friday evening on Suntru Street. Once at the location, they found 35-year-old Maribel Rivera-Diaz stabbed to death in her vehicle.

Investigators later received information her estranged husband, 48-year-old Juan Rivera, may have been responsible for her murder.

Officials said that during the early stages of the investigation, officers responded to the residence of Juan Rivera on McNaughton Street overnight Saturday. Officers were notified that he was inside and believed to be armed with a shotgun.

Police on scene surrounded the house and began efforts to have him come out. It is during this time Rivera intentionally started a fire in the basement, officials said.

As the fire began to spread throughout the 2 ½-story home, Rivera refused to come out but was eventually taken into custody after exiting through a basement window.

While working on the fire, emergency crews said 10 dogs, a rabbit, and a ferret perished in the incident. The house also sustained extensive damage.

Rivera was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries resulting from smoke inhalation. As a result of the investigation conducted by police, the man was charged with murder for stabbing and killing Maribel Rivera-Diaz and arson in the third degree.

He was remanded without bail and will ultimately be transferred to the Monroe County Jail.


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.