Mother of victim asks for answers in deadly house fire turned homicidal

INDIANAPOLIS – IMPD detectives are currently investigating a body found in a house on the near east side as a homicide.

Firefighters responded to a house in the 3600 block of E. Vermont Street for a house fire. After the fire was extinguished, responders found a body inside. What was originally called a death investigation is now being investigated as a homicide with IMPD.

On Monday, the Marion County Coroner’s Office released the name of the person killed, Charles Burgess Jr., 24.

“He deserves people to reach out to him and find out who did this to him,” said Miranda Wood, Burgess’ mother.

Wood said his son had no enemies.

“I have no idea who would do this,” Wood said.

She said her son was homeless by choice, suffered from a mental illness and was trying to change his life, but had a troubled past. Still, she said he didn’t deserve it.

“I have to bury my baby now when he should bury me,” Wood said.

Wood said she worked hard to watch over her son, but this has been a tough year.

“I was diagnosed with leukemia in February, so it was kind of a battle to keep an eye on him the way I wanted,” Wood said.

The Marion County coroner’s office only says the cause of death is “multiple trauma.” IMPD Public Information Officer William Young said more information is expected to come out later.

“This will come from the Marion County District Attorney’s office as the investigation progresses,” Young said.

People who live near the house on E. Vermont Street said this has been a problem for some time now, with several people entering and exiting each day.

IMPD detectives on site said both sides of the house were vacant.

Wood said she dropped her son there before going out with a friend she thought was living there.

“He’s been to the house every now and then over the past four months that I know of,” she said.

The IMPD is also looking at this as arson and says there are no suspects in custody so far.

“We leave nothing to chance,” Young said.

Anyone with information on this matter is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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