Homicide investigation now ruled an accidental fire - WNEM TV 5

Suspected homicide now ruled accidental death

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

There are new developments in the case of what was thought to be the city's 36th homicide of the year.

George Graham's family went almost a year thinking he had been murdered. For Jeffrey Graham, it was even tougher because he lives next door to what remains of his father's destroyed home.

George Graham, 78, was killed in the house fire located near East 41st Street and Wayne Avenue in April. He was sleeping in his bedroom at the back of the burning one-story, three-bedroom house and couldn't get out.

Investigators initially said the extreme heat of the blaze made it suspicious and another son, who also lived with George Graham, had just gotten into a fight with his girlfriend shortly before the fire. Arson investigators set about looking for an intentional cause, but didn't find any accelerants or signs of foul play.

Now, their conclusion that the fire was an accident takes George Graham off the list of homicide victims for 2012.

His family said the news is a huge weight lifted after nearly a year of pain and uncertainty.

"It's kind of insane because you have all these emotions. You're wondering what happened - who could have done this and why would they do it to my dad? Nobody ever said anything bad about my dad," Jeffrey Graham said.

Jeffrey Graham also said the holidays this year were extremely tough because no family members wanted to come by, see the boarded-up house next door and be reminded of what happened. They're now hoping that, with the investigation wrapping up, they'll soon be able to tear down what remains of the house and move forward.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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