UPDATE: Hopkins County Fire Turns Into Homicide Investigation

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"It was shocking. He was just a normal guy. He'd cut up and carry on with everybody."

UPDATED Monday 6:45 PM -- The area surrounding Roscoe Veazey Road in Hanson is a quiet small community.

"You know almost everybody in your whole area. When something like this does happen it catches you by surprise," said Hanson Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief, Jesse Breedlove.

A trailer fire around 9:30 Saturday night changed all that, and is catching the attention of everyone in Hopkins County.

"I've been on the department for 23 years and this is my second fatality," added Breedlove.

Volunteer firefighters tell WBKO when they arrived on the scene, one half of the house was already engulfed in flames, but the other half had yet to be affected. When they busted down the front door instead of finding fire damage, they found the body of James Simmons.

Firefighters kept the flames away from the body of 51-year-old Simmons until the Sheriff's Office arrived. Officials said the fire looked suspicious, and the autopsy results only raised those concerns.

"There was a gunshot wound to the back of the head," said Hopkins County Sheriff, Frank Latham.

That fact has added a homicide investigation into the suspected case of arson. Police said they've got a person of interest but aren't releasing any more information until further in the investigation.

"I can't comment on that part. We will be meeting with the Commonwealth Attorney for the next couple of days," said Latham when asked about the identity of the person of interest.

The murder hasn't been easy to take for people who live in the area. They said James Simmons was just like any other person living in Hopkins County.

"It was shocking. He was just a normal guy. He'd cut up and carry on with everybody," said Breedlove.

Police said strong tips from the community are only helping find the person responsible.

"Not ever over confident, but hopefully we can make this case." said Latham.


MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) Sunday 11:45 PM -- WEHT/WTVW is reporting the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office responded to a fatal fire in Hanson Saturday night around 9:30.

Reports said the victim of the fire, James Simmons', home was believed to be suspicious. Those suspicions were confirmed when an autopsy found a bullet wound in Simmons skull.

Reports said police have a suspect and the investigation is on-going.


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