Arson suspected in Roan Mountain double homicide case

John Thompson • Jun 27, 2012 at 6:19 AM

ROAN MOUNTAIN — The Carter County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are working on an apparent double homicide and arson at a scene of a previous arson at 120 Hemlock Lane, a private drive in the Hampton Creek community.

Lt. Mike Little of the sheriff’s department said two bodies were found after a fire in a garage Tuesday morning. Because of the fire, the suspected identities of the two victims could not be confirmed and law enforcement agencies are awaiting a positive identification following the autopsies.

Little said he will also await the results of the autopsy to determine if the victims had suffered foul play before the fire. He believed the identities could be confirmed in a few days.

“Things always take a little longer when there has been a fire,” Little said.

In addition to the TBI, a state arson investigator will also assist in the case.

The burned out residence near the garage had been the scene of an arson attack earlier in the month.

On June 6, residents Glenn Shell and Joyce Brock told Carter County Deputy Robert Hughes that someone they did not know attempted to enter their home, then set fire to it while Shell and Brock were still inside the home.

Shell said he was watching television around 3 a.m. when he heard someone attempting to come to the front door. When they were unable to make entry, he said they went around the back door and tried to open the door by force.

Shell told Hughes the attacker was not able to open the door. He then heard the man run across the deck. The next thing Shell noticed was the smell of diesel fuel. He then saw flames ignite on the deck and across the yard.

Shell woke Brock, who was asleep and they exited the house through a bedroom window. Brock said she went back inside the home to get her cell phone and call 911.

Firefighters said the June 6 burn was consistent with a flammable liquid leading away from the residence.

Although the identities of the victims in Tuesday’s fire have not yet been confirmed, a neighbor said the events of the past month have been frightening.

“It’s scary, I never thought anything like this would happen here,” said one neighbor.

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