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LARIMER (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Police continue investigating a strange death case where a body was found burned in a fire Wednesday evening in Larimer.

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As we are learning new details, the case is sounding even more bizarre.

A source tells KDKA-TV News the body had already been so badly decomposed before it was set on fire, it was only skeletal remains that were burning when firefighters got there.

For this reason, investigators still don’t know if it was a man or a woman, but they believe the fire was intentionally set.

It was an odd chain of events from the start.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

According to a source, it was by pure happenstance the fire marshal was driving by Wednesday, noticed smoke coming out of the front door and called for firefighters.

Turns out, the fire wasn’t the biggest problem.

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“They entered the building, got the fire out pretty quickly and, in fact, discovered a deceased body inside the fire,” said Commander Michael Pilyih, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

According to the source, charcoal was found placed all around the skeletal remains and detectives found more charcoal and lighter fluid in the home next door.

Detectives are reportedly working to see if they can get any fingerprints off of the lighter fluid container.


It’s unclear if the medical examiner will be able to determine how the person died in the first place, given the state the body was already in at the time it was burned.

Some of the bones were also reportedly broken and missing. It’s unclear how long the body was in the home.

The duplexes in the 900 block of Washington Boulevard have been vacant for some time and are owned by the city.

“They should do something with the houses. They shouldn’t be there. They have been vacant for a long time. They should be torn down,” said Rich Donato, who owns Clean Car Express across the street. “I always thought it was an eyesore and it just invites crime.”

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KDKA was told a person was brought in for questioning on what may potentially be an abuse of a corpse case. So far, no charges have been filed.