He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (2024)

The teenager traced his stolen iPhone to a Denver neighborhood where he believed the device pinged and, in an act of revenge, set fire to the house where he thought his phone was located.

He hit the wrong home.

In what police have called a coordinated arson attack, the 2020 fire killed five Senegalese family members, including two babies. On Friday, Kevin Huy Bui, now 20, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder in connection to the family's deaths.

Bui was 16 years old when he was robbed and used the "Find my iPhone" app to mistakenly track his stolen phone to the wrong home, officials said. Bui, along with two teenage co-defendants, were all later prosecuted as adults in the case, court papers show.

Under a plea deal, Bui faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced this summer for his role in the quintuple homicide.

He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (1)

According to an arrest warrant filed by the Denver Police Department, the fatal fire took place Aug. 5, 2020 and killed Djibril Diol, 29, and Adja Diol, 23, and their 22-month-old daughter, Khadija Diol. Hassan Diol, a 25 year-old mother, and her 7-month-old daughter Hawa Beye also died.

Three other people escaped the home through an upstairs back window, with some suffering broken bones, court documents show.

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Co-defendants also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges

Bui was the last of a trio of friends to enter a plea in the fatal arson fire, records show.

DillonSiebert, 18, pleadedguilty to second-degree murderin 2022 and was sentenced to three years in a juvenile facility followed by seven years in a state prison, Colorado Department of Corrections online records show. Siebert, age 14 when the arson occurred, remained incarcerated Tuesday, with an estimated parole release date of February 2029.

A third co-defendant in the case, GavinSeymour, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in January and wassentenced to 40 years in prison. He was 16 when the crime took place, and also remained incarcerated Tuesday, records showed, with an estimated parole release date of November 2050.

Police kicked in front door but could not enter due to extreme heat

According to the 17-page arrest warrant, on the day of the fire, a police officer in the city's Green Valley Ranch neighborhood was patrolling the area around 2:40 a.m. when he spotted the family's home ablaze.

After alerting firefighters, the officer attempted to enter the home through the garage but could not due to the heat and flames.

He then rushed to the front door where "someone was attempting to unlock the door with the keypad but was unsuccessful. He then kicked the front door in but again could not enter due to the extreme heat.

Arriving fire crews managed to pull one victim from the area of the front door, and the other four victims' bodies were recovered from the front area of the house, the warrant continues.

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Surveillance from neighboring home showed trio wearing masks, hoodies

Surveillance video provided by a neighbor showed three masked suspects wearing dark hoodies outside the home at 2:26 a.m., according to the warrant. The footage also showed at least one suspect holding what appears to be a gasoline can.

He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (3)

Court papers also reveal, in what police called "a coordinated attack," the suspects entered the home and used gasoline as an accelerant to set fire to the rear of the home, then fled.

Detectives later obtained a search warrant after asking Google who had searched the home’s address prior to the fire and eventually identified Bui, Siebert and Seymour as suspects. The warrant goes onto say that detectives reviewed conversations between the trio on social media including one on July 15, 2020, where Bui told his friends he was robbed and another where he wrote "they gonna get theirs."

On Aug. 1, 2020, the warrant reads, Bui sent Seymour this message on Snapchat: "#possiblyruinourfuturesandburnhishousedown."

Bui remained incarcerated Tuesday in Denver's downtown detention center without bond, online records show.

He is slated to be sentenced in Denver County District Court on July 2

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.

He traced his stolen iPhone to the wrong home and set it on fire killing 5. Now, he faces prison. (2024)


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