Columbus fire investigation points to double homicide, suicide


Several people were found dead after an explosion on Wednesday ignited a fire in a home in Columbus, Ohio, seen Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Authorities in Columbus say homicide detectives are investigating the Wednesday evening blast because the cause remains unclear. (Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Several people were found dead after an explosion on Wednesday ignited a fire in a home in Columbus, Ohio, seen Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Authorities in Columbus say homicide detectives are investigating the Wednesday evening blast because the cause remains unclear. (Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)


COLUMBUS (AP) — The deaths of three people found after an explosion and house fire in Ohio appear to be a suicide and double homicide, police said.

The preliminary investigation Thursday showed 42-year-old Gary Morris died because of his own actions, and the deaths of his 2-year-old daughter, Serina Morris, and her mother, 33-year-old Nerissa Distin, are being investigated as homicides, Columbus police said.

Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin told The Columbus Dispatch at least one of the three died from a cause other than the fire, but he wouldn’t say who or share details.

Neighbors reported hearing a boom before seeing the blaze Wednesday evening at the family’s home several miles southeast of downtown Columbus. Firefighters responding to the scorched, two-story house later found the bodies.

Firefighters have said two other children lived at the home but weren’t there at the time.

Several people were found dead after an explosion on Wednesday ignited a fire in a home in Columbus, Ohio, seen Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Authorities in Columbus say homicide detectives are investigating the Wednesday evening blast because the cause remains unclear. (Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/01/web1_124173151-8430e6b6dfa04bf887f3686b2b2e3d63.jpgSeveral people were found dead after an explosion on Wednesday ignited a fire in a home in Columbus, Ohio, seen Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Authorities in Columbus say homicide detectives are investigating the Wednesday evening blast because the cause remains unclear. (Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)