Suspicious death in South Austin being investigated as homicide
AUSTIN, Texas - Austin police are investigating a suspicious death, after a man’s body was found inside a burning home late Sunday night in South Austin.
Residents of Meridian Oak Lane, just off Slaughter Lane and I-35, woke up around 11 p.m. to the sound of sirens blaring.
"One of my babies woke up, and I walked out into the living room and the entire house was lit up in red and blue flashing lights," said neighbor Amanda Mendel.
Police say a man called 911 about a fire in his home, with another man trapped inside.
"There are some signs that say something obviously caused the fire. We don't know what that something is yet," said Officer Alexandra Parker of the Austin Police Department.
Within minutes, firefighters arrived and put out the flames. When crews entered the home, they found the body of a man in his 30s. Police say he had "obvious signs of trauma" but wouldn’t elaborate.
"It's completely scary to think that there could be a dead body five houses down from you," said Mendel.
Notably, police say the resident who called 911 is not considered a suspect.
"We just believe that he's a witness to kind of some of the aftermath of this," said Parker.
The block and the home remained taped off for most of the day Monday, as homicide and arson investigators continued to collect evidence and interview witnesses.
"We just want to work to ensure that we get answers for the family and determine whether this was a, you know, a sad accident or if something else," said Parker.
Neighbors say they’re shocked by what happened, but weren’t necessarily surprised to learn where.
"Like at least six times in the past few months, we've seen a few of them gotten handcuffed and taken out, you know, And we're just like, what's going on?" said neighbor Anna Zuniga.
Some neighbors tell FOX 7 it makes them rethink wanting to live in this neighborhood.
"Having a new family, two baby girls, it's just it's scary," said Mendel.
"I want to move. I don't like it here anymore. There are so many things going on," said Zuniga.
So far, there is no word on any arrests or on a possible suspect. If you have any information on this case, you’re urged to call Austin police.