By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 25-year-old man is being charged with the murders of a mother and her 12-year-old son, found after a fire in their Wissinoming apartment.

Carlos Rivera, 25, is facing several charges in the murders of 35-year old Atlanta Deveney and her son, Elijah Rosado.  Their bodies were found inside a closet after a fire on Howell Street near Torresdale Avenue.

Police say Deveney had been choked and beaten, the boy had been stabbed in the neck and chest (see previous story).

Homicide captain James Clark says Rivera has a history of domestic abuse.

“One theory is that he was physically assaulting the mother and the son came in and tried to come to her aid, and with that (Rivera) pulled out a knife and violently stabbed and killed the little boy,” Clark said today.

Clark also says that when the fire started, Rivera told neighbors to stay back because he was going to save his girlfriend and her son.  But, they say, he never went in.

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