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Police investigating remains found in burned-out home as a homicide

Posted at 2:28 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 22:21:53-04

PHOENIX — Authorities are investigating the case of human remains found in a burned-out house as a homicide.

In an update Friday, Phoenix police said the remains, which had not been identified, were of an adult male.

A man who lived at the home at the time of the fire, then-59-year-old Gary Duffield, was reported missing and has not been found since.

The remains were found Thursday morning as a clean-up crew worked to clear debris from the fire. The house, near Ranch Circle and Ray Road, was recently purchased after sitting vacant and damaged for two years after the fire.

The fire was investigated for possible arson and investigators found accelerant at the scene, but the evidence was inconclusive and its cause remained undetermined.

A primary and secondary search of the home was done after the blaze, but fire officials say they could have missed the victim during the searches. It's also possible that a squatter was on the property.

Anyone with information is asked to call Phoenix police or Silent Witness