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Deadly discovery: Woman stabbed, burned in vacant Detroit house

Body found after firefighters extinguished fire on Parker Street

DETROIT – A woman's body was found in a vacant house on Detroit's east side after firefighters extinguished a fire that broke out early Thursday morning and a person of interest is in custody.

Firefighters were called to a house in the 5000 block of Parker Street at about 1 a.m. Inside, they discovered the body of 55-year-old Gracie Hughes. She was stabbed multiple times, police said. 

Sources said there were 20 to 30 stab wounds on the body.

Neighbors on Parker Street said Hughes had lived in the home her whole life, even after it was foreclosed on. The home didn't have running water or electricity.

“It was her family home. People fall on hard times and she fell on hard times. It’s hard without a job and things like that. She stayed in this house and didn’t bother nobody,” neighbor Barbara Collins said. “She didn’t work or anything, but she didn’t take from nobody. People helped her in the neighborhood.” 

Arson investigators said the body had been intentionally set on fire.

A person of interest was taken into custody Thursday afternoon.