Police in Pennsylvania are investigating whether a home was deliberately set on fire in an attempt to cover up the deaths of an elderly woman and her son whose bodies were found in the basement.
Roger Houck, 59, and his mother Virginia Houck, 97, were found dead on January 4 inside the woman’s home in Palmer Township.
Roger had been bound at his feet and died as a result of ‘homicidal violence.’
Investigators found the bodies of 97-year-old Virginia Houck and her son Roger, 59, in the basement of Houck’s home in Palmer Township, Pennsylvania
Police say it appears someone started the fire in an attempt to hide what happened
Virginia, meanwhile, who was under hospice care and bedridden had binding around her head and died from smoke inhalation and burns.
The bodies were so badly burned, they needed to be identified by dental records.
Mystery still surrounds the case and authorities said they did not want to release too much information for fear of hindering the investigation.
Police have said that they believe it was not a random act and that the mother and son may have been targeted.
After nearly a month of investigation, detectives said they have a person of interest in the double homicide and arson that happened in early January
The bodies of Virginia and Roger Houck, were so badly burned, they needed to be identified by dental records
The blaze did ‘immense’ damage to the house, but investigators were able to find enough evidence to label the fire as suspicious and rule the deaths as homicides, authorities said.
The fire, which destroyed the home, spread quickly because of an accelerant such as gasoline.
Authorities do not yet have a motive for the crimes but have identified a person of interest. They have not yet released information on that person.
‘We are confident that this particular household and the occupant or occupants were targeted for this event,’ District Attorney John Morganelli said. ‘We have not been able to determine what that motive may have been in that matter but we are working on that angle as well.’
The fire occurred in January but the investigation was slowed by the extensive fire damage to the house and bodies
According to the
In recent years, despite growing more frail as she entered her late 90s and grew more frail, she remained sharp-witted and tough.
Roger, meanwhile, had worked for Boeing in Washington State and was preparing to move back to the Seattle-area later in the year.
Mystery still surrounds the case and authorities said they did not want to release too much information for fear of hindering the investigation
The home remains boarded up and sealed shut following the blaze
The woman’s walker could be seen by the entryway to the home