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Published: Friday, 9/19/2008

Identity of woman s body found at Toledo fire scene remains mystery


A woman whose body was found on the second floor of a vacant house in central Toledo where firefighters were extinguishing a blaze remained unidentified last night, authorities said.

Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a Lucas County coroner, said the woman could not be identified because the body was burned so badly. Dr. Beisser said the cause of the woman s death was pending the results of toxicology tests, which she expects to take about two months.

Toledo police Detective Denise Muszynski said investigators are hoping to identify the woman by using dental records.

There was no ID with her. Nobody reported her missing, the detective said.

Toledo s Assistant Fire Chief Luis Santiago said the cause of the fire at 811 Nesslewood Ave., which was reported about 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, was ruled as done by a human hand, adding that arson hasn t been ruled out.

The body was found in the attic closet on a mattress, which was burned so badly that the only thing left was the springs, Chief Santiago said.

We ve taken samples of flooring and other materials in the room and sent them to an independent firm to be analyzed for presence of accelerants, Chief Santiago said. The results are expected within a couple of weeks.

Damage, which was limited to the upstairs closet and the bedroom, was estimated at about $20,000, the assistant fire chief said.

Nobody lived there. It was abandoned, Pete Coates said of the two-story wood frame house.

Well, homeless people might have lived there, but I haven t seen any, added Mr. Coates, 46, the owner of the nearby Autobody & Paint shop, 3015 North Detroit Ave.

The others, who asked not to be identified, said they ve seen homeless people come and go at the house and stealing plumbing from it.

The house, built in 1913, is owned by Dean Rahe of Genoa. It has an estimated value of $22,800, according to the Lucas County Auditor s Office.

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