Mother of victim calls for answers in deadly house fire turned homicide

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UPDATE: Police say 27-year-old Brittany Snelbaker has been arrested in connection with the homicide. The announcement was made on November 24, nearly three weeks since the death of Charles Burgess Jr.

INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD detectives are now investigating a body found in a near east side home as a homicide.

Firefighters responded to a home in the 3600 block of E. Vermont St. for a house fire. Once the fire was out responders found a body inside. What was initially called a death investigation is now being investigated as a homicide with IMPD.

On Monday, the Marion County Coroner’s Office released the name of the person killed, 24-year-old Charles Burgess Jr.

”He deserves for people to reach out and find out who did this to him,” said Miranda Wood, Burgess’s mother.

Wood said her son had no enemies.

”I have no idea who would do this,” Wood said.

She said her son was homeless by choice, dealing with mental illness and trying to turn his life around but did have a troubled past. Still, she said he did not deserve this.

”I have to bury my baby now when he should be burying me,” Wood said.

Wood said she has worked hard to check up on her son but this year has been tough.

”I was diagnosed with leukemia in February so its been kind of a battle to keep tabs on him like I wanted to,” Wood said.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office is only saying the cause of death is “multiple trauma.” IMPD Public Information Officer William Young said more information should come out later.

”That will come from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office as the investigation progresses,” Young said.

People who live near the house on E. Vermont St. said it’s been a problem for awhile now, with multiple people going in and out each day.

IMPD detectives on scene say both sides of the home were vacant.

Wood said she had dropped her son off there before to hang out with a friend she thought lived there.

”He’s been off and on at the house for the last four months that I know of,” she said.

IMPD is also looking into this as an arson and says there are no suspects in custody so far.

”We’re not leaving anything unturned,” said Young.

Anyone who has any information about this case is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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