SOUTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A man who had been reported missing after a fire earlier this month was found dead at his burned-down home Monday.

According to the Washington County coroner’s report, the body of 53-year-old Edward Donald Kerns was found at his home on Park Avenue. He was pronounced dead just after 11:30 a.m.

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While the coroner’s office has identified the victim, the cause of his death has not yet been determined.

A fire restoration crew worker found the body.

The worker did not want to talk on camera, but said he saw the victim’s feet in a closet buried under a pile of clothing. He said Kerns was covered with soot but not burned.

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There was a fire at his home around 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 3. The coroner’s report says the residence was searched at the time.

The coroner’s report also says his family filed a missing persons report after the fire.

A family member tells KDKA they think it’s terrible that Kerns’ body was in the burned out structure all this time, but says the family is not ready to talk more about their loss.

Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigate.

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