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Firefighters find two bodies inside burning Utah home

Published December 14, 2012 1:53 pm

S.L. County • Police suspect a case of double homicide.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two badly burned bodies were found by firefighters in the bedroom of a Salt Lake County home Friday morning, and police suspect a case of double homicide.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said Friday afternoon that the bodies are that of an adult male and an adult female, but investigators have not been able to definitively identify them.

"There are also no obvious signs as to a cause of death," Hoyal said. "The individuals have been transported to the Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy."

According to Hoyal, burn patterns in the house are not consistent with an accidental fire. UPD is investigating the case as a homicide along with Sandy Fire and United Fire Authority. Hoyal said detectives were still processing the house for evidence on Friday evening.

Sandy Fire Department crews responded to the fire at 2811 E. Ksel Drive (9460 South) at 8:26 a.m. When they entered the home, they discovered the bodies and notified UPD.

Neighbors said a man lived at the house by himself and had a girlfriend who visited often. Police say it will take considerable time to identify the victims.

According to neighbor Pat Kimsey, the bodies were initially discovered by other neighbors who entered the house before firefighters arrived. She said she saw a teenage boy and two adults going in and out of the house, presumably to see if anyone needed help.

"What was the most devastating to us as neighbors was that [emergency responders] weren't carrying anybody out to an ambulance," Kimsey said.

Sandy firefighters located the bodies inside the master bedroom. They were able to put the fire out in about 10 minutes.

"This does appear suspicious, and we are treating it as homicide," Hoyal said.

Neighbors Donald and Deborah Cobb, who live directly across the street from the house, said their neighbor was friendly and helpful. They were fearful that he was one of the people who died in the fire.

"He put the shutters on our house, as a matter of fact," Donald Cobb said.

Just recently, the man purchased their pickup with the intention of restoring it.

"He wasn't planning on going anywhere," Deborah Cobb said.

The fire scene was cordoned off as detectives and arson investigators began their probe.






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