Bodies found in house fire identified
CARROLL COUNTY -- Sheriff Bob Grudek has confirmed that the bodies found in the rubble of a house fire near Berryville are, in fact, those of Daniel Cody Middleton and Jackie Lee Aday.
Middleton, formerly of Eureka Springs, and Aday both died from smoke inhalation, according to the State Medical Examiner.
The cause of the fire, which happened on Monday, Jan. 27, has not been determined, but there were no signs of fire accelerants, officials have said. The fire completely destroyed the home, owned by Dale Woods. Woods was renting it to the couple.
The Berryville Fire Department was called to the scene around 11:30 that night, and emergency crews were still on the scene into the late morning hours the following day. Officials from the Arkansas State Police Fire Marshal's Office and Criminal Investigations Division as well as the Carroll County Sheriff's Office investigated the fire.
"We did send an investigator out there to assist local authorities," said Fire Marshal Capt. Lindsey Williams of the Arkansas State Police. "We were strictly an assisting agency, so anything we do would be reported to the local law enforcement agency."
The Berryville Fire Department turned the scene over to the Sheriff's Office for investigation at approximately 4 a.m. on Jan. 28, said Scott Jackson of the BFD. The CCSO conducted a routine crime scene investigation that would be done for any incident with fatalities and no witnesses, Grudek said.
The CCSO sent the bodies to the medical examiner at the State Crime Lab to determine the cause of death and as a precaution, Grudek said. After the cause of death was determined and the special arson investigator detected no accelerants, the CCSO closed its investigation, Grudek added.
"When the cause of death is smoke inhalation and there are no accelerants, there is nothing further to investigate," Grudek said.