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KSP awaits DNA testing to confirm fatal fire ID

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By Amanda Kelly, Staff Writer

 

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Kentucky State Police is now waiting on DNA evidence to confirm the identity of the victim who was found deceased in a Crittenden house that caught fire April 10. 

Kentucky State Police Post 6 Sgt. Josh Whitton said the victim’s identification has not been confirmed. KSP has done a “presumptive identification” with the victim’s family, but DNA has been sent to a lab in Frankfort for confirmation on the presumptive ID. 

KSP will be using familial DNA to compare with DNA samples from the victim to determine her identity. Whitton said it could take up to a year for the results to be returned due to the understaffing and backlog issues at the state laboratories. 

While Whitton said the fire report hasn’t been released, he said the fatal fire has been confirmed an accident and not arson. 

However, Whitton said investigators ruled out a rumored theory that a methamphetamine production lab caused the fire. He said meth labs have several accelerants present. No accelerants were detected in the house, ruling out a theory that a meth lab exploded and/or caught on fire. 

While there was a propane tank in the house, Whitton said investigators also ruled it out as a reason for the fire. 

Whitton said the fire report is being completed by Scott County Fire Department Assistant Chief and investigator Jim Kanavy. 

“I’m waiting on the lab results, but I was told no accelerants were found,” Kanavy said. “It’s an assumption, but it’s looking more accidental than criminal.”

The city has plans to tear down the structure, but Crittenden code enforcement officer Wanda Hammons said the owner is caught up in a legal dispute during a May 28 council caucus meeting.

Hammons said there are currently two owners. They have to work through the legal system before ownership is finalized and removal of the house can begin. 

Hammons hopes the structure will be removed in a month or so. 

The fire broke out around 4 a.m. April 10 at 204 N. Main St. in Crittenden. Crews from Dry Ridge and Crittenden fire departments were able to extinguish the fire, but they called in investigators due to the suspicious nature of how the fire was started. Investigators discovered the body of a deceased person during their investigation. 

If you have any relevant information pertaining to the case, contact Whitton at KSP Post 6 by calling (859) 428-1212.