Woman accused of torching parent's house

A 52-year-old Mountain View woman has been arrested for allegedly trying to burn down her parents' Los Altos home early Saturday morning.

Police said three people were inside the house, located just behind Mountain View High School on the 1700 block of Hawkins Drive, when the fire broke out at 2 a.m., but no one was injured. The fire was substantial enough that the house has become "uninhabitable," according to the county fire department.

Police say the suspect, Jann Gilkey, was stopped by Los Altos police as she drove from the scene of the fire with her car's headlights off. She was not arrested at that time because the officer was concerned with the fire. "His interest was if he had to do any evacuations," said Los Altos police agent Mark Laranjo.

She was later arrested at her house on the 2200 block of Latham Street. She is being charged with burglary, arson and attempted murder.

"We believe it [the motive to be financial in nature," Laranjo said. He added that "I believe she was adopted."

Gilkey has been booked in county jail without bail.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 10, 2008 at 1:30 am

I was adopted at birth to very loving parents.
They never treated me any different. They were my parents and I was their daughter. I take offense to the last comment made by the officer.

"We believe it [the motive] to be financial in nature," Laranjo said. He added that "I believe she was adopted."

I met my biological mother when I was 21 and there was simply no feeling between us. As hard as I have tried to convince myself and make a bond with her, she is not my mom, and never will be.

The parents who I will love and remember forever, are the parents who raised me.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2008 at 7:58 am

There is no reason why the mention of being adopted is relevant to this news item.

Like this comment
Posted by losaltoscitizen
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 10, 2008 at 10:48 pm

sick is sick no matter if one is adopted or not! she is sick to say the least! hope that she stays behind bars forever.

Like this comment
Posted by Arlena
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 14, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Jann had a psychotic episode and was not herself at these times. She was the most disciplined person I know and it breaks my heart for her and her family that this occurred. When Jann comes to her senses, she will never forgiver herself because the love of her two children was the driving force of her life. I offer support to Jann, her family, and the community (law and judicial) that has to manage persons when they fall apart. I cry for this whole situation. I was once her best frient and I am confident that someone can carry a torch of accountablity here. Jan was clean and sober for many many years. Her Los Altos and Mountain View AA and NA friends can attest to that.

Like this comment
Posted by Arlena
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 14, 2008 at 11:03 pm

PS she was not adopted...

Like this comment
Posted by Sigmund
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2008 at 12:14 am

What does being adopted or not adopted have to do with a criminal act?

The suspect is 52 years old. Childhood bonding is long over with and now it is well past the time to figure out your life and get the show on the road.

The more disturbing matter Is law enforcement. Are they now considering birth status as a measure of a persons ability to commit crime.

In my opinion that is a waste of law enforcement time and resources?

Like this comment
Posted by mr mallard
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm


Like this comment
Posted by friend
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 27, 2009 at 6:35 am

her son is my best friend. It kills me to know i might never see him again

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