Police investigating murder of man found on fire

September 26, 2011 3:29:30 PM PDT
Some residents in southeast Houston made a disturbing discovery this weekend: a man set on fire in the middle of their neighborhood in broad daylight. Police are still trying to figure out who did it.

We now know how the victim died. According to police, he was murdered before he was set on fire.

Investigators started talking to two people of interest on Saturday after the crime, but people are feeling pretty leery in the neighborhood where it happened.

The neighbors on the quiet street near the Houston-Pasadena border couldn't believe what they saw around 2:30 Saturday afternoon.

"Ruthie came running in, saying, 'Somebody's on fire. There's a body on fire in the ditch!' I thought, 'what?" retired Detroit firefighter Marvin said.

"I was with the fire department. Yeah, I saw this a lot in Detroit," he said, adding that he hasn't seen anything like this since he moved to Houston.

Witnesses told police a white SUV stopped and a man got out. When he drove away, neighbors saw the flash of flames.

Upon closer inspection, they found the body of a slender man on fire.

Witnesses say one neighbor ran across the street with a garden hose and put out the flames.

Another neighbor, who didn't want to go on camera, told us he saw the white SUV pull into a mobile home park just yards away from where the body was dumped.

A police dog led investigators to the same mobile home park, following the scent of the gasoline used to set the victim on fire.

There, police picked up two people of interest for questioning. They were later released, pending further investigation.

Monday, the medical examiner found the victim died of stab wounds to the neck and chest and blunt force trauma to the head. There is no word on his identity.

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