On Monday morning at about 5:18 a.m. Alaska State Troopers received a phone call from a woman struggling to talk. She stated that “he” tried to burn the house down, and then the line went dead, according to Troopers.
It was the last thing Mollie Ragonesi, 66, would say before collapsing and subsequently dying of a stab wound to the neck inflicted during a melee at her home between her 19-year-old foster son Kenneth Adams and Daniel Ramsey, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
Following Ragonesi’s phone call, Troopers Dispatch called the telephone number back, but this time a male voice answered the phone, saying the “foster kid” stabbed Ragonesi and she was injured. Another man could be heard saying two people had been stabbed.
When troopers arrived at the Pioneer Peak Drive address in Wasilla, investigators say thick smoke could be seen from inside the residence. Inside the home troopers would discover Ragonesi collapsed on the kitchen floor, Ramsey collapsed in the same room and another resident, James Springer.
In his bedroom, troopers discovered a distraught Adams. Troopers report he had started a fire in the lower part of a furnace in his bedroom.
Troopers’ investigation revealed Ragonesi had smelled something burning in Adams’s room and had gone in to investigate. There she found the fire Adams had set and yelled to Ramsey to grab a fire extinguisher to help put out the fire, according to documents. Kenneth pushed the bedroom door shut on Mollie and told them not to come inside.
Ramsey forced himself into Adams’s room, and a fight subsequently ensued between Ramsey and Adams. During the melee Adams produced a knife, according to Troopers, and he stabbed Ramsey “several times.” It was in the chaos Ragonesi was somehow stabbed in the neck, Troopers report.
Mollie left the room and managed to make her way to the kitchen where she dialed 911 before finally collapsing on the floor; she would later be pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, Ramsey and Adams were still engaged in their fight. Records state Ramsey was able to break the blade of the knife off as Kenneth started to strangle him. Troopers report Springer came into the room and was able to pull Adams off of Ramsey. Ramsey was then able to run to the kitchen and place a call to Troopers before he too would collapse, Troopers report.
Ramsey was taken first to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center and then Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, where he is currently listed in critical condition.
Troopers arrived at the scene, arresting Adams on first-degree attempted murder and second-degree murder charges as well as arson charges. Adams's bail has been set at $500,000 upon the appointment of a public defender.
Superior Court Judge Craig Condie, overseeing the case, maintained Adams’ initial bail conditions at an initial court appearance Tuesday.
"I'm going to continue the bail as previously set, at $500,000 cash/corporate," Condie said.
Dillon Anderson, a friend of Adams who says his sister dated the defendant for a year and a half, remembers Adams as polite but ostracized.
“Whenever I hung out with him, he was the nicest, calmest person,” Anderson said. “Kids would pick on him, but I told Kenneth not to let them bother him because it's just words.”
Shawna Theodore, whose former boyfriend was at one point Ragonesi's foster son, fondly remembered her on Facebook Tuesday.
"Mollie was a very good foster mom," Theodore wrote in a message to Channel 2. "She took in troubled youth and turned them around. And did a great job at it."
Prosecutors in the case declined an interview Tuesday, saying it was too early to comment.
Adams is scheduled for a pre-indictment hearing August 1 at a Palmer court.
Editor's note: An initial version of this story that misspelled Mollie Ragonesi's last name has been corrected.
Channel 2's Adam Pinsker contributed to this report.