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Medical examiner's office rules death at northwest Roanoke apartment a homicide

Medical examiner's office rules death at northwest Roanoke apartment a homicide

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The medical examiner’s office has determined that the death of a man whose body was found inside a northwest Roanoke apartment building Saturday was a homicide, according to a police news release.

Officers were dispatched to the West Creek Manor apartment complex in the 300 block of Westside Boulevard at 6:03 a.m., after Roanoke Fire-EMS crews extinguished a suspicious fire inside an apartment. An adult man’s body was found inside the building, according to the release.

The man’s identity will be released after his next of kin have been notified.

Evidence found at the scene and the position of the body raised “suspicion to the cause of death of the victim,” according to a search warrant filed in Roanoke Circuit Court. The warrant did not elaborate on how the body was positioned, or what evidence was found at the scene.

Roanoke police spokesman Scott Leamon declined to answer whether the body had visible injuries, or whether police had determined the manner of the man’s death, citing an ongoing investigation.

Roanoke Fire-EMS spokeswoman Tiffany Bradbury said Saturday that several people were displaced by the fire, though she did not know how many were affected. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Damage estimates were not available Monday afternoon.

No arrests have been made, according to the release.

The man’s death is the city’s 12th reported homicide for 2017. It’s also the second homicide this year tied to an apartment fire.

On April 3, rescue crews responding to an apartment fire found 59-year-old Lawrence Clites Crowe dead inside an apartment in the 2000 block of Brandon Avenue. Officials later determined that Crowe died of blunt force trauma.

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