Officials investigating a fatal fire announced Tuesday afternoon a piece of new information that complicates the case — a gunshot wound discovered during the autopsy. Madison County Sheriff Paul Welch says it began with a Saturday-night fire at an old rural church building that had been used as a home for several years. The deputy on the scene of the fire tried to locate Kevin McBroom, the man who lived at the home, and neighbors said he’d been there that day. Sunday as it was cooling down, a search of the fire scene turned up the body of a man, with no identification. Welch says officials are not assuming it was McBroom found dead after the fire, but include that as a possibility. “All we can do is make presumptions,” the sheriff says. “We know who should belong there, but we can’t identify who we have right now.” The body was taken to have an autopsy done by the state medical examiner at the new state lab in Ankeny. Sheriff Welch says identification was difficult because of damage from the fire. They could confirm only that it was the body of a man, but did report that the body had suffered a gunshot wound. When he got that news, the sheriff called in the state fire marshal’s office and the Division of Criminal Investigation to join the case. Welch says no neighbors remembered hearing gunshots before the fire was reported around midnight Saturday night. The investigators had no reports of any enemies, concerns about anybody upset with McBroom or suspicions of foul play, and had been handling it as a routine case, aside from the difficulty of making a positive I.D. But the sheriff says while the state medical examiner will still have to do more tests on the badly-burned body to confirm its identity, he’s told them a gunshot killed the man.
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