Detroit police investigate whether man found dead in backyard of burning home was murdered

Man's body found badly burned in Southwest Detroit, officials say

DETROIT – Investigators are working to determine what happened to a man found dead after a house fire in Southwest Detroit.

The fire happened on South Liebold Street near I-75 and Schaefer Highway. Neighbors in the area want to know how and why the man died.

Firefighters said the fire was difficult to fight. It burned for hours before a man was found dead in the backyard, officials said.

"I think it's terrible, heartless," neighbor Pam Bomar said.

Authorities in charge of the homicide investigation after Thursday morning's fire aren't calling it a murder yet, but neighbors are convinced.

"It's kind of scary living down the street," neighbor Bryan Carver said. "Pay attention to what's going on."

The fire was called in around 2 a.m. Thursday and eventually spread to the home next door, officials said.

Firefighters realized there was a body in the backyard, turning the burning home into a crime scene.

Officials initially thought the man had ben mutilated, but an arson detective believes his body fell apart in the intense heat of the fire.

Police are still trying to figure out how the man got into the backyard, if he was killed intentionally and if the fire was set on purpose.

"Whenever you hear about someone dying, it doesn't matter the skin color," neighbor D'Marco Wardlaw said. "Nobody needs to lose their life."

Authorities said it could take some time to identify the man because his body is badly burned. That could make it more difficult for investigators to crack the case.

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